Greece: outrage over police violence
New protests against police violence took place in Athens on Sunday, triggered by a video of police called in to check reported violations of lockdown measures in which a police officer is seen beating a man with a baton. While officers at the scene claimed they had been attacked, the police union said their actions were unlawful. Commentators view the developments with consternation.
Reminiscent of Erdoğan's regime
Democracy in Greece is in danger, warns Stelios Kouloglou, an MEP from the left-wing Syriza party, on TVXS:
“Have the policemen become so overconfident of their own accord, or have they been ordered to behave this way? It's probably a combination of the two. What is certain is that the images of excessive and unrestrained violence immediately bring to mind Erdoğan and other anti-democratic regimes. The police in the West don't joke around either, but they always act according to certain rules and avoid unnecessary clashes with citizens. ... Yet the Minister of Citizen Protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis, recruited a few thousand police officers in a hurry, all of them untrained, some of them supporters of Golden Dawn and, as it turns out, others even have a criminal record.”
No playing with fire, please
The pro-government Kathimerini urges calm:
“The Third Hellenic Republic recently passed a historical stress test. Its institutions have gone through the ravages of bankruptcy. They were shaken, but they did not collapse. Now some people are looking for reasons to bring back their fantasies of civil war and set the stage for tension. They have to be confronted by mature political parties - all the parties. Whoever thinks of playing with fire will be the first to burn. Greek society is concerned with different issues and has different values than they do, and wants a return to normality.”