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Papoutsis: “Tear Gas is the Mildest Form of Reaction Across Europe”

 Former Minister for Citizens’ Protection and aspiring PASOK leader Christos Papoutsis defended his work at the ministry and the (often extensive) use of tear gas during protests in Athens and other Greek cities. He said that chemicals are better than water and that he never gave orders to police to dissolve demonstrations because they caused problems to the government.

“These chemicals are the mildest form of reaction throughout Europe. they are not rubber bullets, they’re not water. I was criticized because I did not allow that for what I was blamed to: a police state. If we would have police state, there would have been  dead in Athens” Papoutsis said speaking in REAL FM.

Papoutsis argued that in all the demonstrations the orders to police were to self-control in order to protect the rights, life and property of citizens. He said  that a total of 1,700 of hoods wearing protesters were arrested and that in some cases heavy penalties were imposed.

The former minister reiterated that some people from the government were asking him to “level” the residents of Keratea but he insisted on the necessity that peaceful demonstrations were protected. However, out of these peaceful protests, “some came out and asked money from shop-owners, so that they wouldn’t burn down shops,” Papoutsis said.

Greek media and left-wing parties have strongly criticized Papoutsis for extensive use of tear gas and violence on the side of the Greek police especially during last summer’s protests.

 Christos Papoutsis resigned last week from his post in order to candidate for social PASOK party leadership. The name of the new Minister for Citizens’ Protection is expected to be announced today or tomorrow. Some Greek media claim that the new MfCP will be the former MfCP Michalis Chryssochoidis.

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10 comments

  1. This is one of the stupidest things I have heard in a long time!

    He said that chemicals are better than water

    Could mister Papoutsis proof that assumption by going on live television and please spray water in his left eye and chemicals in his right eye and than sit there for 15 minutes before any help is administered?
    That man needs to be punished harshly: Let’s vote him in as leader of PASOK! 😆

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    you only need 2 euro to participate in the voting!

  3. Well, water cannon ‘treatment’ can be quite disastrous.

    I take that you weren’t aware of this.

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    it depends on the pressure. I once had a water splash during a demo here but that was loooong time ago. BTW: As I could not open the link to check it, I deleted it…

  5. Yes, Sandels, I had both the watercanon and ‘chemicals’ treatment in the past. And I can assure you that I prefer the watercanon every time.

  6. Not one cent. Although I might set up a campaign to have millions of Germans decide who the next chairman/woman of PASOK, and therefore maybe the future PM of Greece!, might be.
    It is a total crazy thing. LAOS members can decide the next leader of the Socialist? To my mind it is once again that strange US-fetish that sometimes comes up here in Greece. Copying blind what happens in the USA. There you have states where, in the primaries, everybody can vote for, for example, the Republicans. So Democrats are known to vote for the most crazy opponent in the knowledge that by that they will hurt the opponents the most.
    Either you are a party that stands for something then you want your members to choose the person who is most representing the common goal. Or you are nothing and just a group of opportunists who will trade in everything for power.
    I guess it is now totally clear what PASOK is…

  7. iaourti iaourtaki

    Sorry and i’m not sure if i understand it right but if “horn” means “Keratea” i doubt foreigners will understand that.

    I only know about this red water cannon bus they’ve used in Keratea (first time since 1981, right? and that they didn’t used them anymore was a history lesson – Junta?) and i’m not sure how strong it is but if they would use German water cannons he might be right. Shots with it can break bones and actually last year people in Stuttgart lost eyes from its hard streams.
    I think that they’ve used rubber bullets too occasionally and last time on 12th at the barricades of the law school… not to mention that police officers used their clubs the opposite site round hitting people with the metal of their sticks to open skulls and throw rocks and sharp pieces of marble onto demonstrators who weren’t equipped with ice hockey uniforms.
    Also these flash bangs that are anti-terror weapons can burn you ugly. Remember the journalist who went deaf by it?
    It would be interesting to learn about the analysis of the chemicals some pharmacists wanted to make after 28th/29th of June and also if the PAME activist died of it in October. Also interesting would be if they’ve used run out tear gas – some photos of found grenades indicate that they came from Germany and were left over from Wackersdorf 1986 (also two dead people from this tear gas back then) – and if the chemicals contained some arsenic ingredients. That could mean that there is the possibility of more victims to come in the long run. And please don’t forget about the pregnant woman that lost her baby in Keratea when MAT attacked with teargas into houses and her backyard.
    And if he comes along like a Peacenik what about the new hoodie law Pasok forgot to abolish in 2009?
    Sounds all a bit like Keratea will become battle ground again because the site would be legal now.

  8. keeptalkinggreece

    that’s Papandreou’s concept of real democracy: voting from the party basis, includ PASOk members and friends (foes maybe too lol)

  9. keeptalkinggreece

    sorry, that was a horn of some sentences translated automatically. Sentence deleted lol

  10. Nothing wrong with voting from the party grass-roots. That should be done. Not by some clique ‘upstairs’. But they should at least be member. And to be member you should at least be a Social Democrat/Socialist.
    To me it says a lot about PASOK. It is not a party but just a vehicle to power with total delusional people who live on their own planet. But they will say it is not a party but a ‘movement’. (insert a rude gesture here) 😀