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Greek minister's statement causes political tension

Thursday, December 21, 2006

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A statement expressed by the Greek Public Order Minister, Byron Polidoras, during a press conference in Athens had as a result political turbulence between the government and political parties of the Left. More specifically, Polidoras blamed indirectly the Synaspismos leftist party for covering rallies by anarchists and called Synaspismos' leadership to make clear whether or not approves violence from the side of leftist and anarchist groups which take part in big anti-governmental rallies. Moreover, the Greek Public Order Minister blamed PASOK, today's leading opposition party, for being fully responsible for not doing something in order to break down the teams of anarchist groups during its 20 years of governance.

The answers from the side of PASOK and Synaspismos were immediate and blamed Mr.Polidoras for being exposed and for trying to manipulate citizens, making references to the past of Greek politics. Furthermore, in a short debate between Polidoras and PASOK's parliamentary representative, Petros Efthemiou on ALPHA TV, the second called Minister to apply those policies that would eliminate violence in demonstrations instead of blaming political parties and former governments. Addressing to the Greek Parliament later, Byron Polidoras clarified his statement saying that he fully respects all parties and that he didn't mean to blame the opposition as supporters of anarchist groups.

According to recent official data, criminal cases and more specifically juvenile violence has been increased during the last year in Greece. The issue came back on focus, after a 10-year old boy was arrested during violent clashes between police and anarchists, outside Aristotle University in Thessaloniki.

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