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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Grèce. « La police est noyautée par l’extrême droite »

by Pierre Barbancey

Greece: “The police have been infiltrated by the far right.”

Translated Sunday 14 December 2008, by Gene Zbikowski

In this Dec. 9, 2008 interview, Dimitris Papadimoulis, a member of Synapismos, Greek European Union deputy and member of the EU parliamentary group GUE/Northern Greens, denounces the role played by the Greek government.

What is your opinion of what happened Saturday evening in Athens?

Dimitris Papadimoulis: It was a pure crime committed by a policeman against a 15-year-old youth for no reason at all. You heard me right: for no reason at all. One of the problems is that there are far right groups within our police force, groups with a very violent attitude. This isn’t the first time that we’ve had to deal with such cases. Already, last year many violent affairs involving policemen occurred in Greece, without either the government or the police chiefs imposing any sanctions. That’s why we think that this is a political question and why we hold those who head the government for responsible, the people who leave unpunished the crimes of these far right groups that act within the police force itself. Moreover, together with all the forces of the left, we call for demonstrations against this mad violence.

What is the social context?

Dimitris Papadimoulis: In Greece, the social crisis is very serious, especially for the young generation. The unemployment rate among young people is particularly high (it’s almost double the European average), there is a lack of perspectives for these same young people. The government has created an explosive mixture for the majority of the population and for the young people of this country.

What is going to happen in the coming days?

Dimitris Papadimoulis: For Monday, we have organized a massive and peaceful demonstration in Athens and in many other cities. We are reacting in a radical way, but, and this has to be emphasized, peacefully. We are not just demanding that the government change its social and economic policies, we are demanding that it step down. On Wednesday there will be a general strike. It was planned long ago, but obviously, with the murder of this young man, it will take on an additional dimension. We will not only say ‘no’ to the government’s neoliberal policy, which creates bigger and bigger inequalities, which are more and more unbearable, but we will also say ‘no’ to the criminal and aggressive attitude of the police towards young people, towards the social movement, and towards the left.

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