I think there is nobody that has not yet heard of the huge and violent riots in Greece. It's been repeatedly over the news for 4 days on starting from Saturday 6/12/2008 when 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot dead by police fire. I will try to make some statements about the madness we are currently living here, in the most sincere and truthful way possible.
The boy was not killed by police, but by a special guard.
'Special guards' is a force that does not belong to police force. They come mostly from military forces, they were formed in 1999 to patrol targets such as embassies, but remained un-armed until 2004, when Vyron Polydoras unleashed them on the urban areas, fully armed. Actually, the government was planning to integrate it into the police force by 1/1/2009 (however this seems highly unlikely now). As such special guards were not as trained as normal police officers and their existence seemed to serve only political purposes.
It was not an accident. It was a murder.
The klling was totally paranoic and absurd. Alexandros was not Carlo Giuliani. He was not killed during a riot or a protest. It was a quiet evening and the boy was out at Saturday night with his friends. A verbal dispute was enough for a military gorilla to pull the trigger. Actually the two special guards, returned back even when the dispute was over to bully the kids. This is paranoia.
Greece has no government.
Kostas Karamanlis became a Prime Minister, promising justice and transparency. However, he is trapped in his incompetence and in a party crowded by incompetence. Minister Of Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos (photo), is at the same time Minister of Press, after the most-provoking scandal of Vatopedi caused the resignation of Roussopoulos. Mr Pavlopoulos resigned after the murder but his resignation was not accepted.. Then, Karamanlis, totally out of touch, instead of forming a tractable plan to deal with the crisis, demanded from all other parties to clearly condemn the riots, implicitly meaning that these riots are politically supported. No comments. This absurdity has lasted long enough.
Greek youth is not rioting. It is dissapointed.
Some political parties on the left wing is attempting to exploit youth as an emering political group that is trying to express itself, a most unwise move that will fall into the void. The riots are not caused by Greek youth. They are wrong. Dissapointed? Yes. Melangholic? Yes. Pessimistic? Sure. Angry? Of course. But they are not trouble makers. They are not destroying properties or pillaging shops. Politicians should try to reach out for these young people with great caution and already some have made the big mistake.
Recent riots are much less than a revolution, but much more than hooliganism.
Politicians, analysts and journalists are referring to current unfolding riots as a social phenomenon that we will have to understand. When this stupidity will fade out, we will all realize that there is no political meaning behind setting a city building to fire. It is yet another illegal activity by criminals, extremists and immigrants. After all, these people are not any better than the guards who shot the boy. A sane demoratic society cannot justify any outlaw activity. Period.
However, this one is different. Recent riots show an unprecented violence, partially due to poverty and deep social problems and partially due to recent huge corruption scandals, like the case of Vatopedi.
Greece is now directly faced to its long deep social and political problems. The nation seems to be divided in half, the one side demanding justice and change and the other one somewhat justifying police methods and expressing the opinion that all these are supported under the table by left-wing parties...