News in English 26-9-13
Secondary education teachers have decided to suspend their strike mobilizations after eight continuous days of strikes. During the meeting of the presidents of the regional Unions – ELME the proposals for strikes didn’t get the required 2/3 of the votes. As of today, schools operate normally, except the ones that are occupied by students. About 100 schools around the country are under occupation. The ministry of Education is in the process of issuing a Presidential Decree by which the school year will be extended for students of schools which remain occupied more than three days.
‘Pavlos lives! Crush the nazis!’ was the main slogan heard at yesterday’s mass demonstration. Around 25.000 were the demonstrators at the rally that organized trade unions, political parties, antifascist organisations and other groups. The police proceeded to a total of 62 detentions and five arrests. There are reports of police taking protesters into so-called preventative detention, before the demonstration. By a police order, many metro stations in central Athens were closed, before and during the demonstration. A massive crowd gathered at Syntagma Square at 6 pm, where a concert took place and at 5 pm at Propylaia. At around 7pm, a large group of demonstrators left Syntagma and moved towards Golden Dawn’s offices, on Mesogeion Avenue. But in order to prevent protesters reaching the Golden Dawn building, police used buses and riot police to block off access to the entrance of Golden Dawn’s offices at Mesogeion Avenue. A group of the crowd attending the rally, shortly after 8pm, clashed with the police, tear gas and stun grenades were used around Mesogeion Ave and Fidippidou Street, in response to protesters throwing stones and molotov coctail bombs. To escape from the choking effects of the tear gas, demonstrators headed down to Alexandras Avenue and Mihalakopoulou Street. By 8.45pm the demonstration had largely dispersed in different directions. Police left open the roads to traffic after that. Antifascist demonstrations were also held in Thessaloniki, Serres, Ioannina, Volos, Heraclion, Katerini and Chania.
Giorgos Roupakias, the murderer of activist and singer, Pavlos Fyssas, insists that he was acting in «self-defence, according to ERT reports and the “newspaper journalists’” publication. Two independent witness statements however, mention that there was a second person in Roupakis’ car at the crime scene. Those testimonies cast serious doubt on the investigating authorities, since they raise new questions about the attitude of the police at the time of the arrest.
The Financial Crime department SDOE, has evidence related to the funding sources of Golden Dawn and has already asked for the opening of bank accounts in order to cross check them. According to information of VIMA newspaper, the first investigations that were conducted have shown evidence for funding illegal activities, by large entrepreneurs, ship owners and clergy!
At the same time, the parliamentary representative of Golden Dawn, Elias Kassidiaris, has announced they will proceed to lawsuits against New Democracy, Pasok, Syriza, and the Communist Party of Greece in response to the police and judicial investigations that are underway for the determination of whether Golden Dawn is a criminal organization.
The Ministry of Health according to the reply of the deputy minister of Health, Zeta Makri, to a question submitted by 26 MPs members of SYRIZA, has forwarded to the body of the Parliament the list with names of psychiatrists and neurologists employed in public hospitals of the country, that have signed certificates for issuing firearms licenses.
A shocking report released by the Ombudsman, reveals that since January 2012 there have been four deaths and 400 people injured in 281 attacks associated with Golden Dawn
As noted in the report – submitted yesterday to the parties of the Parliament – by the Ombudsman, Mrs Kalliopi Spanou, immediate and drastic measures have to be applied to address the racist violence, which as emphasized – has been «rampant», since January 2012 until April 2013. At the same time, the existence of an organized civilian militia has been ascertained, while the attitude of Greek police is characterized disappointing.
In a telephone interview granted to ERA, Sissi Vovou of the «Feminist Initiative to abolish violence against women» confirmed the organization’s charge concerning the transfer of seven HIV-positive women from the prison of Korydallos to Thiva. This transfer renders the continuation of their treatment almost impossible. In addition, there is no hot water in the area where they are being held. This impedes the diligent personal hygiene that is necessary to delay the progress of the disease.
Talks held between the Minister of Development and the Troika have ended in a deadlock. The representatives of the lenders asked for legal protections for businesses with commercial leases to be lifted immediately and in full, and the cancellation of 12 year automatic contracts (regardless of lease renewal) that formerly applied. If this measure is applied, it will affect thousands of professionals, and will literally dissolve the commercial market.
The first appeal, against the abolition of positions in the public sector, and against the availability of employees with permanent contracts, has been submitted to the Council of State, by the Association of Employees of Greek Tourism Organization.
The Association argues that the relevant government decisions violate the constitutional principles of equality and proportionality, Article 103 of the Constitution, which provides the permanent status of public employee’s contracts, as well as the Article 43, which states that the issuing of ministerial decrees has to be provided by law.
The top justices and senior officials of the Ministry of public Order met at the Supreme Court to discuss an Internet post by an organization calling them selves the «Special Forces Reserves» which – among other things – is demanding the resignation of the government and of the president of the Republic.
The Deputy prime Minister and President of PASOK, Evangelos Venizelos, stated in a Reuter’s interview that “the greatest risk currently facing Greece is the possibility of a social uprising. Such an event would indicate that the endurance limits of our society have been exceeded.”
In a radio interview with Europe1, the Leader of the Green party in the European Parliament, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, called upon Europe to take responsibility, and correct their mistakes against Greece. Mr. Cohn-Bendit reiterated his position that the measures implemented by Europe have proven ineffective, unjust, and illicit. He asserted that «Europe bears the responsibility to protect Greek citizens, otherwise, the prospect of fascism, is a very real prospect for Greece».
ESIEA has announced a five-hour work stoppage until 5 pm, due to the general assembly of the Journalists pension fund EDOEAP.
The ERT employee union, POSPERT, and ERT journalists issued a statement in light of the Council of State convening tomorrow to rule on the legality of the national broadcaster’s closure. POSPERT had appealed to the Council of State, maintaining that the operation of public television is not in accordance with the Council’s ruling, which held that all public radio and television frequencies must remain fully functional until NERIT starts operating. The struggle for an open ERT operating with transparency, independence, pluralism and respect continues and remains non-negotiable. The announcement expresses the trust that ERT employees have placed in Greek justice.
The Board of the Greek Journalists’ Union (ESIEA) issued a call to all colleagues to gather at 10:00 in the morning on Friday, 27 September outside the Council of State where its plenary session will rule on POSPERT’s appeal against the dictatorial government decision of 11 June to shut down ERT.
Our commitment for reopening and transmission of the historic 3rdprogram of the Hellenic Radio (classical music) has been realized thanks to the spirited efforts of all the personnel. The constant improvement of our programs and our obligation to provide the Greek citizens what they are entitled and deserve, will not stop.
Tonight with us in ERT’S courtyard Doros Dimosthenus and Giannis Nikolaou show their solidarity to ERT’s employees with their music.
ERT has been, and will be OPEN – public Radio, Television and Internet, serving the Greek citizens all around the world. Tune in and enjoy at http://www.ertopen.com and at http://www.thepressproject.gr