Posts tagged ‘communist party of Greece’

Racial hatred attacks reach dangerous proportions in Greece

Racial hatred attacks have increased in Greece.Members of the tri-partite Government have been forced to make hesitant statements. Specifically, Minister of Justice Mr. Antonis Roupakiotis (originates from Democratic Left) said that: “the rise of racist attacks has started to acquire especially dangerous characteristics” while Democratic Left MP Prof. Panousis stressed that “such crimes poison our society”. The PASOK representative stated that the center of Athens must become secure again for its inhabitants. This, according to Mr. Triantafyllou, is the answer to the wave of violence against immigrants.
The attacks reached a climax when a young Iraqui immigrant was murdered by a group of five people in the center of Athens at 4 o’clock in the morning on the 12th of August. Mr. Dendias, Public order Minister (originates from New Democracy) stated that he has already asked the Head of the Athens Police to give priority to this crime and that the perpetrators will be dealt with mercilessly.
At the same time there was uproar with a Face book post by a Golden Dawn fan which implied that he was part of the murder. According to TVXS the same man contacted the station and claimed that he was just joking with his friends.

Racial attacks have happened in the provinces as well. In Heraklion the Immigrants’Forum contacted the public prosecutor and asked him to examine the cases.

Reactions by the opposition

SYRIZA claims that the government handling of criminality has led to a circle of violence that has no end. The major opposition party calls on the government to formulate “cohesive” policies for immigration and for the fight against crime.
The Communist party of Greece accused the government that its own “Xenios Zeus” anti-immigrant project fuels racist feelings and racial attacks. “The same people who promote anti-immigrant feelings seek to hide the causes of immigration and exploit the phenomenon instead”.

Greek elections – 17 May 2012

69.19 % of the votes have been counted and the results so far are as follows:

New Democracy, the right wing party has 30.13%, The Coalition of the Radical Left received 26,47%, PASOK (The Panhellenic Socialist Movement) 12.67%,  the party of the Independent Greeks – a right wing split from New Democracy  7.43%, Golden Dawn – a nationalist extreme right party 6.94%, the Democratic left – a renovative left party 6.05% and the Communist Party of Greece 4.50%. No other party has managed to reach the 3% threshold to enter parliament.

At a first glance my estimation is that the Greek electoral body acted on the motto “better the devil you know”, a motto strengthened by an unbelievable campaign of terror that had echoes of cold war arguments.

The most disturbing result is of course that of the Golden Dawn, an extreme right, xenophobic, nationalist party that has been blamed for many violent incidents against immigrants and for physically attacking two female left wing MPs during a television panel discussion.

The 19-20 October protests a turning point

The two day protests (19-20 October) of the Greek working people constitute a landmark in modern Greek history. The protests of October have fundamental differences from the protests of last summer.

In spite of the Government’s hopes, the doubts of the right wing opposition, the hesitation of the new left and the downright skepticism of the Communist party Syntagma Square continued to attract anti-austerity protesters. It is true that it was a completely uncoordinated crowd: from the nationalist wing to the apolitical, self-serving taxi drivers, from the unemployed to the civil servants, from the extreme right wing to the rebellious students, from the General Confederation of Greek workers to the shop keepers union. All these groups were brought together by their inability to survive under the austerity measures and the heavy and unjust taxation imposed in the name of “national salvation”.

This rising, heterogeneous movement was headless. The new factor in this uprising is that the Communist party of Greece decided to claim the hegemony of the movement. PAME, a Unionist Front by its own definition, the Communist party’s expression in the union movement, stated their decision to protest in Syntagma Square on the 19th and to take part in the Parliament siege on the 20th. This announcement was hailed as positive by the majority of the other groups of the movement since it would reinforce the common struggle. What was not immediately clear was that PAME considered the Square as its own grounds and did not take kindly, to say the least, to other forces, like the “DEN PLIRONO” ( “I don’t pay movement”)demonstrating next to them.

This attitude is not new in the purist attitude of the Communist Party of Greece. Their protests and marches are always strictly organized and separate from the other forces in order to protect them from agents provocateurs. The Syntagma Square crowd is something unknown to them. The clashes were inevitable and when the hooded so-called anarchists tried to go through the PAME ranks to reach the Parliament a full assault developed. The police stayed back, throwing tear gas and chemicals only when directly attacked.

The outcome of a few hours of generalized street fighting was one of the PAME protesters dead and several others injured.

On the political level the great loss was that the focus was turned away from the real issue, the voting of the new austerity measures in Parliament, to the fights outside it.

The only casualty in Parliament was Ms Luca Katseli, former Finance Minister, who voted against article 37 of the new law and was ousted from the PASOK Parliamentary group.