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by GREYDOG

GREECE: The Austerity “Cure” is a Humanitarian Catastrophe

5:56 am in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

By greydogg and SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on Monday and Thursday @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 26 November 2012 broadcast.

An 'Austerity Ahead' road sign

The crisis of austerity continues in Greece.

- From Brussels:

The IMF wants Eurozone finance ministers to agree to a cut in Greece’s debt by €40 billion, but German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble remains opposed to further cuts to the country’s ‘debts.’

After months of political theater, a green light is expected for the next dose of money to recapitalize the Greek banks. The funds will be swallowed up by the black hole of the Greek banks – aiding a clear and continuous theft of public funds.

The Troika’s manufactured economic crises and its prescribed ‘cure’ of austerity have plunged Greek society into a humanitarian catastrophe. The so-called third Memorandum (M3) demands further austerity measures and the mass privatization of public assets, forcing Greek citizens into an unsustainable position of paying the odious debt of the banks with their lives.

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Predictions and polls:

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by GREYDOG

Samaras Says He’s “Confident,” But Council of Europe Calls Troika Measures Illegal

8:50 am in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

Occupy Greek solidarity

(Photo: Sunset ParkerPix/flickr)

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 19 October 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

- Following the Troika’s two-day summit in Brussels, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras expressed confidence that Greece will receive the next tranche of 31.5€ billion by mid-November when the country’s current cash reserves will run out.

For the benefit of catapulting the propaganda, Samaras acknowledged that the “economy and society are at their limits, and the blood of the economy, liquidity, is at level zero; unemployment has reached nightmarish levels and every Greek is facing a personal tragedy.”

“I was met with understanding on the part of the (EU) leaders, they asked with interest about Greece,” Samaras said, adding that the climate concerning the country has changed and the immense sacrifices of the Greek people are now being publicly praised.

Samaras ridiculously added that he was confident that the Greek economy would recover! Concerning the misery of the Greek people due to brutal austerity measures imposed upon them by the Troika, Samaras said that many of the austerity measures should have been taken by Greece voluntarily.

However, to date, not one Member of Parliament has taken a pay / pension cut or voluntarily sacrificed anything.

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- During a debate on the Troika’s Memorandum, main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras said that Greece is a country that is represented internationally by a coalition of “Merkelists.”

According to KeepTalkingGreece:

Addressing the three leaders of the coalition government, Tsipras said “You are not Europeanists, you are Merkelists.”

Further, he said that the Memorandum (MoU) has worsened the economic crisis since debt, unemployment and failures of businesses have increased, underlining the fact that “austerity puts the euro in danger.”

“The MoU is a crime and the whole responsibility lays on the Troika and those who govern the country. The first level is the looting of the society, the second the looting of public assets and the last default and a return to the Drachma,” Tsipras said.

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- Demonstrating for the whole world to see that there is an occupation in Palestine, the Israeli Navy intercepted, surrounded and boarded the Gaza-bound ship Estelle 31 miles off the Gaza shore on Saturday. Five Members of Parliament from Sweden, Norway, Spain, and Greece were among the activists on a mission to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

On 21 October, the Israeli government sent a message to passengers aboard Estelle warning the activists that if they continued their journey, they would be taken into custody in Israel and possibly prosecuted for “illegal entry into Israel.”

Five Greek activists and two SYRIZA MPs arrived back in Athens on Sunday after they were released by Israeli authorities.

- From Athens News

The ship set sail from Naples in a bid to break through Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, which has been declared illegal by the UN Human Rights Commissioner on the grounds that it unfairly penalizes the civilian population.

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by GREYDOG

Greece: General Strike on Wednesday September 26

11:24 am in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 24 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

Some euros

Photo: Environment Blog / Flickr


Greece’s two largest umbrella unions, GSEE and ADEDY, have organized a nationwide 24-hour strike that will take place on Wednesday 26 September 2012 to protest a new round of austerity measures that the government-of-the-regime is preparing to pass through Parliament. The new package includes further cuts to public sector salaries, pensions, benefits, education and health care spending.

In Athens, GSEE and ADEDY will gather in Pedion tou Areos Park in the morning before marching to Syntagma Square in front of Parliament. The Communist Party-affiliated union PAME will be holding its own rally at Omonia Square.

The streets and squares will be filled with people from all walks of life and businesses across the country will be closed. The government-of-the-regime must not be allowed to pass another round of crushing anti-labor measures.

From StopCartel’s Giorgos Kosmopoulos:

The new measures will leave nothing standing.

The coalition government has completely negated its election promises to renegotiate and disengage from the terms of the Memorandum. Instead, they are promoting a new package of austerity measures. Cuts totaling 11.9€ billion, which will eventually balloon to 22€ billion, will undoubtedly level what’s left of society and the economy.

The new package of austerity measures includes:
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by GREYDOG

Greece: The Suffering of Ordinary Citizens 

10:39 am in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 21 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

An 'Austerity Ahead' road sign

Image: 401k / Flickr

- On Friday in the center of Athens outside the Ministry of Finance, employees from the ministry along with revenue officers organized a protest and a 24-hour strike. The workers are protesting the destruction of all public services, the layoff plans, dismissals, and wage cuts. Their banner reads: “We cannot afford emergency taxation anymore.”

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- Greek society is falling to pieces because the Troika is demanding nation-crushing austerity policies from which recovery is completely impossible. The humanitarian crisis currently taking place due to the Troika’s manufactured economic crisis is rarely reported. But here, ordinary Greek people speak out about how this crisis has affected their lives and the lives of their families.

A middle-aged woman interviewed in her home explains,

Right now, we are expecting our last family subsidy in order to buy some food and to be able to eat. As for our bills, there is no money left over for bills. Our water has already been cut off. We still have electricity at the moment. We felt it was better to have electricity than water, to be able to cook for the children. We get water from surrounding flats and homes. We used plastic containers for that.

She went on to say, “I can’t concentrate on anything. Every day I look for work but there is nothing available.”

After asking the interviewer if he had a job for her she continued, “The children ask for milk but we don’t have milk because we cannot afford it. The children go to school and are becoming jealous of the other children because they have food to eat. Where are we going to find justice?”

A young father says he has borrowed money to buy supplies for his children so they could go to school. “The children don’t have English lessons because I can no longer afford to pay the 30€ a month for lessons.”

Unemployed, uninsured and bankrupt parents cannot hide the despair in their eyes because they cannot afford even the basic necessities for their children. Food, clothing and school supplies have become luxury items to hundreds of thousands of Greek families.

The young father, who looks for employment daily, says he manages by begging. Sometimes he is able to find work for a day. He has been unemployed for two years and has four young children. He used to work for an air-conditioning company that closed. Eighteen people lost their jobs. His wife is also unemployed. The family’s only income is 264€ a month.

He added, “We are no longer able to manage our homes. It’s a terrible thing that’s happening in Greece. It’s unbelievable that I don’t have money to give to my child to buy a tiropita to eat in school.”

Another father of two, a painter, lost his job and then his home. His family moved into his father’s flat where five people now live together in a very small place. He explains how they survive. “We met many people at the free social outpatient clinic organized by activist doctors. That is where the kids get the necessary vaccinations and documentation so they can attend school.”

Recently, doctors at the clinic have taken care of 3,000 Greek children who are living in extreme poverty. Every day, more and more suffer from the desperate situation. Gradually, they have learned to push aside their emotions and feelings of hesitation disappear. People in need are seeking assistance.

A pharmacist from the free clinic explained,

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by GREYDOG

Greece: Access to Food and Health Care Is More and More Difficult

9:44 am in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 20 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

- Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stounaras made the mistake of walking in Syntagma Square on Thursday. To give readers an idea of the highly charged atmosphere in Greece, citizens who just happened to be on the scene wasted no time taking advantage of the chance encounter to verbally express their feelings regarding Stounaras’s traitorous role as a Troika puppet. Stounaras scurried like a frightened rat, cowering between two bodyguards as he was heckled on his entire walk through the square on his way from the Parliament building to the Ministry of Finance.

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Mass-transit workers gathered in Syntagma Square for a demonstration and a 24-hour strike to protest an increase in fares and additional cuts to their wages. As a symbolic gesture, they brought a gallows with an effigy of a uniformed Metro worker lying lifeless below. Their message to the government-of-the-regime is: If you pass new austerity measures you will be hanging us all.

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- Hospitals in central Athens remain open for emergencies, but outside hospitals, doctors, nurses, and support staff are protesting. Hospital employees are owed many millions of euros and have not been paid in over six months because Greek hospitals are bankrupt. Some hospitals have already been forced to close, leaving patients in those areas at high risk.
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by GREYDOG

Greece: The Target is the European Union Itself  

12:38 pm in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 19 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

- Documentary filmmaker Stelios Kouloglou spoke to Piazza Web TV about his film, Apology of an Economic Hitman and its historical relationship with the current reality in Greece.

The project, which largely explains the economic crisis and recent events in Greece, stars John Perkins, who from 1971 to 1981 worked for a multinational consultancy firm, Chas. T. Main Inc., as an economist. In reality, however, Perkins was a ‘financial executor’ who was recruited by the CIA. When he enlisted, he was required to take an oath of silence. He kept his mouth shut until September 11, 2001 when he decided to publicly expose the dark side of American capitalism by writing The Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

Stelios Kouloglou: My film concerns the history of an ‘economic killer.’ John Perkins was an economist working for a private company who was cooperating with the Pentagon, the World Bank, and the IMF. The target for economic killers is to go into a country in order to enslave that country economically and politically. The basic tool used for this procedure is the country’s foreign debt. The typical tactic was for target countries, particularly Third World countries, to be given huge loans with the foreknowledge that those countries would never be able to pay back those loans.

WebTV: Do you believe that something like that is happening today in Greece?

Stelios Kouloglou: To a certain extent, yes. They have adapted their methods to a country that is not exactly a Third World country. Greece is not in Latin America, but belongs to the European Union. It’s in the so-called new era. Goldman Sachs has played the role of the economic killer in the last several months.

WebTV: Do you believe a domino effect will take place in the EU? Do you believe the target could be the euro?

Stelios Kouloglou: Certainly it is one of the targets. The euro is not the only target, but one of the targets. The other target is the European Union itself, in an effort to impose neo-liberal policies in order to take away workers’ rights throughout Europe. This is what we are experiencing at this time.

WebTV: Can we resist?

Stelios Kouloglou: Of course we can resist! But resistance in one isolated country is not enough. There must be cooperation between all the countries of Europe, in order to form a united front in solidarity. This is especially true for the ones under direct attack now. Greece is on the forefront of the battle, but I feel resistance will be formed throughout Europe. Although we are in a very difficult position, I am deeply optimistic.

Full Documentary @  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui0NL3bb21o

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- People are pouring into the city of Piraeus from the greater Athens area and from all over the region in order to fill their prescriptions. The Union of Pharmacists in the city of Piraeus have suspended their strike in order to give people the opportunity to go to the pharmacies and get the medicines they need. Access to prescription medicines has deteriorated so severely that people must drive for hours to get to Piraeus and once there, they must queue up for hours waiting and hoping for a chance to get their medicines.

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SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’s remarks in Parliament on Wednesday:

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by GREYDOG

Greece: More protests; SYRIZA demands cancellation of the Memorandum

2:06 pm in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 17 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

- From the StopCartel TV news desk:

Angela Merkel - Caricature

(photo: DonkeyHotey/flickr)

StopCartel TV Livestream news will broadcast LIVE on LOCATION in Propylaea – Tuesday at 7 p.m. Athens time.

Demonstrators are scheduled to gather in Propylaea on Tuesday evening to protest the social holocaust package promoted by the wretched coalition government. At the behest and demands of the Troika, the Greek government-of-the-regime is proceeding with the criminal plunder of Greece, wielding a plan that was allegedly designed to help Greece avoid bankruptcy, but which is, in fact, achieving exactly the opposite by driving the country headlong into bankruptcy and depression.

As Giorgos Kosmopoulos from StopCartel TV stated, “Pre-election promises of renegotiation proved to be just a pipe dream. What’s left is the 11.7€ billion (which will exceed 20€ billion eventually) and the crocodile tears of Merkel before swallowing her victim.”

Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras illustrates how out of touch he is with the average Greek citizen by stating that the “standard of living of the Greek population has dropped, but not dramatically.”

The new package totals another 11.7€ billion in catastrophic cuts being proposed by the government-of-the-regime:

- New huge reductions in salaries and pensions

Reduction or elimination of social and welfare benefits (EKAS, family, disabled, large families, etc.)

- Eliminate or merge hundreds of public organizations

- “Reserve” status (wage cuts preparatory to firing) and layoffs in the public sector, to bring the number of jobs lost to 150,000 by 2015

- Mergers of hospitals, schools, kindergartens

- Suspension of recruitment

- Reduction of public expenditure on education, health care, and pharmaceuticals

Simultaneously, the recent government “leaks” about the Troika’s new requirements in the private sector gives employers the freedom to implement new anti-labor measures like greater flexibility to recruit, dismiss, or employ workers at will. Clearing the way for exploitation of workers with impunity, the plan allows for the extension of labor flexibility by replacing the five-day work week with a six-day work week, with irregular shifts, drastic reductions in wages and the elimination of compensation for layoffs.
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by GREYDOG

Greece: Unemployment Climbs Steadily; So Do Prices

1:29 pm in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 14 September 2012 broadcast.

The Economic Crisis - Protests

(Photo: infomatique/flickr)

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart 

- From the StopCartel News desk:

The atmosphere in Greece is getting more electric. The puppet government and the representatives of the loan sharks are coming and going from office to office, from building to building, allegedly ‘negotiating’ the terms of the Memorandum. Everyone knows that the terms for Greece have been arranged and decided by the Troika long, long ago. Behind the closed doors of the REAL bosses of Greece, of the European Union and the world, the loan sharks, banksters and industrialists are conspiring against society and nature in favor of amassing an even bigger pile of cash. These ‘bosses,’ who are robbing and enslaving our lives and the lives of all humanity, must be stopped, must be overthrown!

The average Greek citizen has a deep hatred for anyone who is profiting by cooperating with the Troika and the government-of-the-regime. These collaborators are destroying the sovereignty of Greece and savaging the lives of the Greek people. StopCartel says, “RESIGN TODAY AND STAND WITH YOUR PEOPLE!”

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- The unemployment rate has reached tragic levels in Greece. A recently released report states that the ‘official’ unemployment number shot up from 23.6% to 24.6%. Statistics from the report show that each month the unemployment rate increases by one percent. In the last three months, the unemployment rate in Greece has exceeded the 24% mark.

In 2011, 810,821 people were unemployed in Greece. In 2012, that number rose to 1,168,761 for the same period of time.

In September, analysts expect the unemployment rate to reach 24.5%, the second-worst in Europe, after Spain. Young people between the ages of 18-25 are experiencing 53.9% unemployment. For women, it’s even worse, at 62.1%. People who work part-time or maybe just a few hours a day are NOT counted as unemployed.

It has been reported that every single day in Greece, 1,000 people lose their jobs. The situation, in fact, is even more dramatic. Analysts say that figure is closer to 3,000. Officially, unemployment is worse than it was during the Nazi occupation during WWll!

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- StopCartel TV reported the results of a recent comparison between wages and the cost of living in Greece in 1999 and in 2012:

1999

498€ = basic wages

.52€ = 1 liter of gasoline

.18€ = 1 liter of gas for heat

.29€ =Tiropita

2012

480€ = basic wages = lower by 3.6%

1.70€ = 1 liter of petrol = 69.4% higher

1.10€ = 1 liter of gas for heat = 83.6% higher

1.50€ = Tiropita = 80.6% increase

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by GREYDOG

Greece: Strikes Gather Momentum; Siemens Scandal Refuses to be Whitewashed 

12:38 pm in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 13 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

- September ushers in a new wave of strikes and mobilizations throughout Greece. The strike bulletin is filled on a daily basis. Here is a partial list of this week’s rallies, marches and strikes:

Municipalities remain closed for the second day of a 48-hour strike.

Judges of the Court have decided to go on strike for 20 days. Beginning September 17, courtrooms will be closed from 10.30 a.m. until the end of the shift.

- Greece’s two largest trade-union federations, representing private- and public-sector workers, have called a 24-hour general strike on September 26, beginning with a rally at 11 a.m.

Tax inspectors will strike daily from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Shipyard workers will gather at 8.30 a.m. for a march from the train station in Piraeus to the Ministry of Mercantile Marine.

- People who use public transportation await the decision of the workers, who will decide today whether to hold rallies in response to an increase in fares.

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- On Thursday the Hellenic Association of Paraplegics and Visually Impaired conducted a demonstration outside the Ministry of Finance building.

The Paraplegic Association, reacting to cuts in welfare benefits, used their wheelchairs in a symbolic blockade of the Victory Road entrance of the building. They accepted a request for a meeting with representatives of Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras.

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Shortages of drugs have been reported in many national health fund (EOPPY) – dispensing pharmacies, as a result of an embargo placed by pharmaceutical companies. This is leading many patients to seek their prescriptions from hospital pharmacies. Pharmacists are refusing to provide prescriptions on credit to EOPPY insured. They are expected to meet on Saturday to consider whether to continue their protests.

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- OTE Management and unions at Hellenic Telecommunications (OTE) began exploratory talks on Thursday over a management plan to reduce the workforce by 2,000, through voluntary retirement and transfers, in an effort to cut costs. Under the plan, OTE would offer voluntary retirement, with full social insurance coverage, to workers nearing retirement age.

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- A bill to rubber-stamp an out-of-court settlement between the government and the Greek branch of Siemens – who in the past, has been accused of paying bribes to secure public contracts – was withdrawn from Parliament on Thursday amid concerns that the cobbled-together coalition would suffer a significant amount of defections.

Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced that he was withdrawing the legislation, arguing that it was redundant because Siemens has already officially accepted the terms of the deal. He also accused opponents of the settlement of “demagoguery.”

SYRIZA had used parliamentary rules to ensure that the vote on the bill would not be a secret ballot, prompting fears that the coalition would be put under strain due to visible defections.

The 330€ million deal between Greece and Siemens involves a 100€-million investment in Siemens’s Greek branch, to construct a new factory that will employ 700 people.

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- During the roll-call vote requested by SYRIZA / CCL to withdraw the amendment which would ratify an out-of-court settlement between the Greek government and Siemens, SYRIZA parliamentary spokesman Dimitris Papadimoulis made the following statements:

“This is a tragic illustration of the government, a government so fearful and guilty that it resorted to a stampede by withdrawing the necessary provision to invalidate the miserable compromise signed with Siemens.

Today, the disorderly retreat by the government was prompted by their fear that Parliament would vote against the shameful, extrajudicial settlement with Siemens. But this action illustrates that the voice of SYRIZA / EKM in the House is stronger than the tentacles of the corrupt relationships forged during the era of the largest parliamentary money-laundering scandal.

Moreover, it shows that the government-of-the-regime trembles at the thought of a potential loss of a parliamentary majority, so it avoided the roll-call vote.

According to Mr. Stournaras’s admissions in Parliament, the agreement that the government made with Siemens is invalid. Samaras needs to notify Mrs. Merkel that the prize he offered her on August 24 has been withdrawn.

No public official and officer of the state is entitled to execute an agreement. SYRIZA / MCM will do whatever is required to ensure that money belonging to the Greek people will be claimed and refunded in full and that all persons involved will be held accountable, regardless of their position and tenure.”

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StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

by GREYDOG

Greece: Neo-Fascist Rampage Protected By Police; Strikes Gather Momentum

10:07 am in Uncategorized by GREYDOG

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 10 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

Greek Police with Shields

Greek Police at a 2008 Strike (Image: George Laoutaris / Flickr)

- Elected MPs from Greece’s radical parties, SYRIZA and Golden Dawn, participated and cooperated in an organized demonstration by the Greek police to protest looming cuts in their wages and pensions.

StopCartel’s Dr. Giorgos Kosmopoulos commented, “Every citizen and every party agrees with their cause. (Instead of joining forces with Golden Dawn) SYRIZA should limit their support for the police to an official statement.”

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- On Saturday, while their bodyguards looked the other way, three MPs from the radical ultra-nationalist party Golden Dawn led a group of supporters on a rampage against foreign vendors at outdoor markets in Messolongi and Rafina, located in Central Greece.

Greek Minister for Public Order Nikos Dendias, reacting to public criticism, suspended the Rafina police chief. His ministry said it also removed the state-appointed bodyguards protecting Golden Dawn MP’s, “to spare policemen the conflict of having to either protect the deputies or stop them from illegal behavior.”

This is the first time security detail has been revoked for Members of Parliament.

Update from Athens News:

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