Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Athens riots - Foreign Minister insults Police

I happened to be reading the on-line version of Spiegel and i came across an interview with the Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis. Her husband was killed by the terrorist group 17 November, her brother is currently a member of parliament and facing questions regarding the SIEMENS scandal and her father is Kostas Mitsotakis, former prime minister of Greece, and nephew of Eleutherios Venizelos, another Prime Minister of Greece and a prime example of the Elites i keep ranting about. Her father also gets three seperate pensions from the state, so much for 'conservative' ideals of the right - they love state hand-outs as much as the next guy.

Anyway Spiegel asked her why the police acted passively and her response is "The police have not reacted passively, rather they have sought to de-escalate the situation. The government decided that it would rather accept material damage than new casualties and victims."

Ok, now i find that answer hugely insulting to the Greek police force. She is implying that the only way the police know how to respond is by killing and beating up more people? huh?
Come on! No! I refuse to believe that. Yes i know the police are under-trained and under-paid, but i do know that they do get some training, i saw the riot police march on the protesters banging their shields with their clubs and yelling 'move move move'. Now here in Greece not everyone speaks english. Their actions were exactly similar to those of the English police when they move on soccer hooligans, suggesting that they had some external training. Speaking to people within the police force i KNOW that they have had some training, and they do come back hugely dissillusioned, because they realise that there is a whole lot more they can learn and that they have been doing things on their own for so long.

I also know that there were police in the force who did have a plan how to react to the violence.
It has also been reported that the previous chief of police was sacked and replaced with a policeman who voted 'correctly and appropriately'.

But i absolutely refuse to believe Bakoyanni and condemn her for insulting to the whole police force. Just because the government was paralysed and could not make a decision as to how to act, do not blame your governments incompetence on the police force.

And then the biggest lie of all, 'the government is going ahead with its economic reforms'.
WHAT REFORMS! the government came in lowered the tax rate to lawyers and doctors and are now raising it to where it was before. They also increased the tax on the middle class - the only people who pay tax. Corruption has increased, they have loaded more of 'their people' in the public service, and have sat by and watched as the black economy grows, and they even tried to include the black economy in its GDP figures. These are not reforms!!!

But many people only read labels, they see the label Unions and Anarchists and believe that they are connected with the unions of South America which fight for minimum wage and a toilet break, and its leaders frequently 'dissapear' and turn up dead four months later. Or they see 'Conservative' party and believe that they are connected with Neo-liberals, or the Tory party of England or the Republicans of the USA.

No, this is Greece. our conservative party actually has a larger say in the unions than the Communist party. In fact getting into a union as an average worker with no political affiliation is harder to get into than Greece's golf club.
This is our reality. Its our own schizophrenic world where public servants are the Elite and union dockworkers are on a six figure salary in a country where most are on a four figure salary.

1 comment:

Rositta said...

Someone once tried to explain the "voting system" in Greece to me and I found it difficult to understand (dumb blond). Something about having to belong to a "party" for your vote to count?
If that is true, that is against democracy in my view. I don't belong to any party officially and have voted across all party lines from time to time but my vote counts every single time. How I vote is private, no one knows unless I choose to tell them. Maybe you could explain it to me if you have time...ciao