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Minister accuses President of Greek Paralympics Team of being “fascist and racist”

Deputy Interior Minister Christoforos Vernardakis accused the President of the Greek Paralympics Team, Simo Paltsanitidis of being a fascist. Cause for the Minister’s anger was a comment posted by Paltsanitidis on his Facebook page, where he accused SYRIZA of going “more and more to the right with the aim to sell off values, ideals, homeland, Nation and sovereignty…”

The Minister commented on Paltsanitidis’ post and described him as “fascist” and “racist”.

An outrage broke out in Greek social media and comments sections of websites. Many internet user blamed the Minister for using “unacceptable descriptions for a man with disabilities” who furthermore has won for Greece several medals in international sports meetings and has been awarded with a series of honors.

The president of the Paralympics Team demanded that the minister apologizes.

However, a day later, the Minister stroke back and posted on his FB page a comment written by a journalist, that reads:

“Someone who is disabled -and more than this also a member of the Greek Paralympics team – is an issue and disability fully deserves the respect and the   undivided support of the state and of the citizens.
But, though: no disability, no physical disability can be an alibi and a pardon paper for any fascist and racist points of view.
Anyone who has doubts, should go to the personal page of  the Paralympian from Chios to see the truth: abuser of refugees and migrants, abuser of  all policies of  ‘traitors’ , abuser of the Prime Minister and the Migration Minister, supporter of all kinds of conspiracy theories, in two words: Golden Dawn by 100%.”

Apparently to support the Minister, several Twitter users posted comments and Shares from Paltsanitidis FB account:

16h16 hours ago

Του πρόεδρου Συλλόγου Ολυμπιονικών με Αναπηρία. Δηλαδή, πιο “ανάπηρος” στο μυαλό, μόνο ναζί.

 “Solution against Islam – Piggranades” A word game with “handgranades” in Greek that can be easily turned into “piggranades” by replacing only one vowel. All extreme-right movements across EU have been using pigs in their rhetoric against Refugees & Migrants, some have also thrown pig heads outside refugee camps also in Greece.
It turns out that the President of Paralympics has also be a member of SYRIZA on the island of Chios since 2012….
The dispute continuous without a break on Greek internet and divides the society.
It is worth noting that on October 13th, six members of the Greek Paralympics Team and medal winners in Rio 2016 wrote an open letter and asked that their pictures being removed from the website of the extreme-right Golden Dawn. In their letter they stressed that “GD as a party has never represent them given the racist views on the issue of disabilities.” The pictures were taken during an award ceremony held at the Greek Parliament.
PS the point here is not whether the President of the Paralympics share the same views with GD with regards to refugees and migrants but whether disability can be used as a shield against criticism and racism.

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One comment

  1. My dear Christopher
    Any accusations about your government “selling off values, ideals, homeland, Nation and sovereignty” are not true. Your government only gave away the country’s assets for 99 years last May. This means that you are still left with values and ideas. These fascists try to make it appear as if you gave away everything.