Posts tagged ‘Democratic Left’

Greek government discards its last rag of democracy

The tripartite Greek government has managed to lose its one partner who had exhibited traces of democratic and social sensitivity. Democratic Left, a split of Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology (SYNASPISMOS), has retired from the government and recalled its two Ministers and one deputy minister.

Mainstream media journalists were wondering why Democratic Left has “deserted” the government over the ERT (Greek Radio and Television) shut down. They conveniently forget that less than a month ago New Democracy -the right wing major government partner – rejected, not elegantly, the antiracist law tabled by Democratic Left Minister of Justice Antonis Roupakiotis. At the same time heavy criticism was addressed to the other Democratic Left Minister, Prof. Manitakis.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos decided to carry on with what he calls “responsible” stance and remains in the government after Prime Minister Samaras promised to evaluate and re-draw the government plans.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Economy which has been appointed as the ERT manager until its “restructure”,  has asked for the evacuation of the ERT headquarters. The employees’ reply was a call to everyone who opposes this scheme to guard the grounds and for Sunday the 26th to be international mobilisation day against the closing down of ERT. The ERT Mansion in Agia Paraskevi is run by the ERT employees with the support of thousands of union members, artists who have worked for ERT, supporters of the National Radio and Television network and other citizens shocked by the abrupt closing down of the state run company.


Friday night found thousands watching Vassilis Papakonstantinou, top rock performer, giving a free concert in the ERT gardens and members of the Actors’ Union reading poems and performing impromptu monologues, opera singers singing arias and a special song dedicated to the Taksim demonstrators.




Will the Greek government celebrate its birthday?

The clouds are gathering over the Greek Government while the rest of the country is enjoying clear skies and high temperatures…

A new meeting is taking place right now between the leaders of the tripartite government with a lot of issues on the table… The Greek state television remains closed while they debate.. and the rumors for early elections are stemming from journalist sources which remain nameless..

To the general public it looks like each party- New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left-is striving to get the most out of the one year of governing together while blaming the other two for all the mistakes, the omissions, the delays and so on…

A rally is being held right now outside the ERT (Greek radio and television broadcasting corporation) called by the the two Workers Federations (Private and Public Sector) supported by the journalists’union and other workers’organisations.

Greek government cohesion shaken

The Subway workers ‘strike has ended after the government issued civil mobilization orders to the employees. The Metro has resumed operations and is slowly coming to its proper schedule.

A police squad, accompanied by a public attorney, entered the depot at 4 o’clock in the morning and made the workers leave it.

While the government seems to have gained a point in its ongoing struggle against Unionists and anti – mnemonium parties its own cohesion has been shaken. The Democratic Left party (DIMAR) expressed its opposition to the civil mobilization move while Alexis Tsipras of SYRIZA claims that this move is unconstitutional.

The immediate future of mass transport in Athens is not definite yet because other unions (busses, trolleys, tram) have expressed their solidarity and so has the General Confederation of Greek workers.

Journalists targetted in Athens, Greece

Homemade incendiary devices exploded outside the houses of five journalists early this morning in various places all over Athens.

The gas-canisters caused small damages but triggered extensive reactions from the political parties and the journalistic world. They came on top of the invasion and dismantling by the police of two villas that had been occupied for over twenty years by squatters groups.

The New Democracy, predictably, issued a statement blaming SYRIZA for “covering up” the hooded self styled anarchists. SYRIZA on the other hand condemned the attacks unequivocally,  stressing that such acts serve as an alibi to the government to continue its “curbing of democracy”.

The Democratic Left also condemned the attacks stating that “the vicious circle of violence is acquiring dangerous dimensions”.

Kouvelis on labour laws

The meeting of the government supporting leaders has just finished. The first leader to come out was Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left. In a brief statement he expressed his total opposition to the Troika suggested changes in labour laws. “These changes in labour rights find me and my Parliamentary group in total opposition and we shall not cast our vote in favour of them.” According to Mr. Kouvelis these labour laws have nothing to do with the country’s fiscal debt and will farther feed recession and unemployment.

Golden Dawn MPs terrorise actors

Golden Dawn MPs accompanied by religious fanatics and at least one priest managed to cancel the openning night of “Corpus Christi”, a play that very few have managed to see or know about. The videos that appeared on social media but also on all major channels were offensive, to say the least. The language used reeked of fascist rhetoric accompanied by swearing and insults. Mr. Pappas, Golden Dawn MP, freed a rioteer from a police car without any resistance by the policemen present. He is being charged.

On the second day, and while the Golden Dawn was once again moving towards the theatre, they were confronted by actors, artists and performers ready to protect their right to view any play they chose. SYRIZA and Democratic Left MPs were also present at what was termed an “anti-rally”. The performance took place normally.

The episode was carried into Parliament by Mr. Kassidiaris, Golden Dawn Parliament Speaker, who did not hesitate to support this act of violent censorship stating that whenever the Golden Dawn thinks that the Greeks’ patriotic or religious feelings are attacked his party would intervene “dynamically”. He also threatened SYRIZA and Democratic Left MPs accusing them of being unpatriotic.

The Actors’Union has issued a statement condemning similar acts of censorship that limit freedom of expression and promised to stand by the specific play and its director and cast.

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”.