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Athens Riot Police Beats Photo-Reporters (pcts, video)

With unprecedented zeal Greek riot police beat and harassed Greek and foreign photo-reporters covering  the incidents during the general strike protests. The photo-reporters were easy to be identified through their television and cameras and had their press ID.

Greek reporter Tatiana Bolari gets punched by a policeman

Speaking to private MEGA TV, Bolari described the incident. “He was beating me and I was telling him, Beat me but take off your helmet to see who you are”. The policeman beat then even harder. Bolari said, she believes that the riot police attacks today was targeted as the police did not want documents of the violence. {Of course, nowadays such an oppression strategy is in vain as every citizen takes pictures and videos per mobile phones, iphones, etc-phones…]

While Bolari gets beaten, another riot policeman kicks another reporter.

 Greek photo-reporter Panagiotis Tzamaros gets beaten form the back with a club


The 2 pictures of Bolari and the one of  Tzamaros were taken by Reuters photo-reporter Yannis Behrakis.

A photo-reporter of AFP lost one front tooth when a policeman hit her with his shield. Using the shield to hit protesters is the new ‘tactic’ of riot police.

Video: Riot Policemen harass Journalists & Photo-Reporters; they sharply protest and some shout  “Junta”. They call the policemen ‘amateurs’. One man shouts “Why? Why? Do we throw stones or what?”

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At 8.30 pm tonight, the beaten and harassed reporters are to file a complaint to the prosecutor.

UPDATE:  Photo-reporter Tatiana Bolari filed a complaint last night. According to Greek Police, the riot policeman was identified and detained on Thursday noon.

The Foreign Press Association of Greece condemned the incidents and urged the Minister of Citizens’ Protection and the Head of Police to find the responsible policemen and punch them. 


Once more we want to complain about the violent behaviour of Greek police officers against colleagues of the Greek and foreign media, while covering protesting citizens in front of the Parliament.

 Although our colleagues’ profession was more than obvious (tv / photo cameras), the police force attacked without reason, only to physically abuse colleagues, such as a photojournalist from Agence France Presse, and damage their equipment.

Today’s attack and Greek police officers tactics against media, raises serious issues that cannot be regarded as accidental, as proven by visual material in our possession.

We ask the Citizen’s Protection Minister and the Head of the Greek police to inquire deeper in today’s incident and take the necessary action in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. 

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  1. Being anonymous breeds violence. Not only in hooded thugs that call themselves revolutionaries, also in helmed police officers. That’s why MAT should be numbered, like it is done in a lot of countries. Then we would have been able to say that officer A2-12 was doing this. Now everybody will wash their hands in ‘innocence’.

    As in war torn countries, Greece is heading to a situation (and in my opinion is already there) that journalists only can work when protected by armed guards. No, not police guards, but private ones. Photographers and reporters are attacked and targeted by elements of both sites. And they have to protect themselves. Because the alternative, not reporting anymore, is what these ‘elements’ are after. And we can never give in to that. Never!

  2. One can only wonder what will happen during the upcoming months.


  3. Not to defend the police, although the Greek police have always been nice to me, but then again I don’t protest or go to Athens when they have protests (HELLO, COMMON SENSE!!)

    People should not expect NOT to be attacked by police if the police are under pressure. They are just people like me and you and if they get threatened in a danger situation,they’ll react. Only once did I get caught downtown in a protest and I found the nearest policeman and said “ego amerikani tourista, pos tha figo apo do” (I am American tourist how do I get out of here”, and he was very kind and helped me get safely away from the thugs who were protesting/rioting etc.

    • Ok, then please tell me, is it also common sense to throw teargas down in a metrostation where PEACEFUL protesters and wounded have seeked shelter?????? Refusing doctors and nurses to enter to help people?? To open a mans skull who are standing will arms up in the air screaming not to be beaten up????? To throw stones at people who are trying to get up the station, after teargas have been thrown down?? Do you want to to continue????????????

      And please.. Since WHEN have people who are protesting for their rights been thugs??? Ever asked yourself why those who smash up everything (the hoodies) hardly ever is arrested??

      But you write the answer yourself “but then again I don’t protest or go to Athens when they have protests (HELLO, COMMON SENSE!!)”… EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!! Thats why they do this.. SO PEOPLE WONT JOIN!!!!!!!!!!…………

      At the big demo in June, I was watching live, a group of 20-30, dressed in black, were making hell on earth… There where 1000s of police there.. Why they didnt arrest them??? Instead they started firering teagas at those demonstrating, greating total panic.. And of course also closed of all streets around, so people couldnt get out of there..

  4. I have to agree with Amerikanaki. The US Embassy puts own a warning to all US citizens to stay away from riots for your safety. and they did arrest 700 in America recently who were protesting. Why don’t the protestors protest somewhere in a field away from everyone and that way they won’t bother the regular people who just want to go to work, come home play with their family etc. Why do we want to see those screaming people in syntagma when we’d rather play soccer with our children. Sorry, I don’t support protestors who block roads, inconvience citizens etc.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      All “Amerikanakia” agree with each other. For those not knowing Greek history and offer advices from their secured income, one friendly reminder: in older times, those disagreeing with elected or not governments (Junta) were sent to ‘protest’ in ‘exile places’.
      You may want to play football with your children, but other fathers want to be able to feed their children. Huge target difference.

      • @George.. Yes, let them go to the north pole to protest, so their chances of beeing heard are even smaller than what they already are..

        ps.. Can happen ive been using a bit of irony!!!

        But lets hope you never will be in the situation where you would have to be “AN INCONVIENCE” to other citizens!

        • Tina, remarkably during the Bush admin that’s exactly what happened. Some protestors wanted to protest in Washington D.C. but the city did not approve due to some political visits from abroad, so the city allowed teh protestors to do their protest in a field 30 kilometers outside of Washington D.C. Everybody was happy. Protestors were able to scream and yell and tell everyone how they felt, and the other people who didn’t want to hear them didn’t have to.

          But, as I told KTG, it’s OK to have two opinions. I don’t have to like protests, and you might, but doesn’t mean that we won’t agree on all topics. That’s the great thing about democracy, you can have many opinions. Am I wrong?

          • I have no respect for refusing people to protest due to some foreign visit ect.. For me its a violation of peoples democratic rights..

          • by the way.. Soon the protests wont be bothering anyone (other than some foreingers outside Greece) since everyeone will be joining.. So problem solved..

    • LOL, what a nice idea of “democracy” you have got there! You protesters, just get out of my way, go protest somewhere where nobody can hear or see you.

      Yay! Do you seriously believe in what you wrote?!

  5. So, is it only one point of view you want to hear? And if we don’t agree with protesting and rioting, then we are made fun of? That doesn’t seem like democracy to me, more like being a bully.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      peaceful protesting and rioting are wo different things. Everybody who lives here knows it. It’s not fair to throw them together into one mixer and push the ON button. And furthemore, I didn’t make any fun…

      Unfortunatelt I see, many commentators – and e-mail senders – that they get angry when others do not agree with their point of view and then ‘blame lack of democracy’. *sigh*

    • @George: I didnt find it funny.. !!… But im tired of reading people, living abroad, posts including foreign media, who think everyone here rioting!! There is a very big difference! And its a human right (at least in socalled democratic states, that you can demonstrate).

      BUT, let me rephrase a bit then… Try to put yourself in the situation of a handicap, not able to work, your family or not able to support you financially. You have for a few years managed to get a pension (Which for MANY handicapped in Greece means they EACH year have to go and get it renewed, going through hell.. Even people with parkinson ect). 600 euros a month. For this you pay also have to pay a person to help you with daily living. And then suddenly you are cut down to half… Would you be protesting or screaming to survive?? OR would you sit down thinking “Oh, better not say anything, since I might be an inconvience to other people”… WHat would it be????????

  6. No, don’t misunderstand me. I am not upset with you and in fact I enjoy your blog, one of the best ones in Greece, but I felt you were dismissing my opinion because it was not one you held yourself.

    My apologies as you now explained yourself, but keep in mind that many foreign people may not approve of the Greeks behavior in this case but doesn’t mean we don’t still Love Greece!

    Do we have to agree 100% on everything? If not, then let’s just agree to disagree on this topic and other topics I do agree with you.

    • “but keep in mind that many foreign people may not approve of the Greeks behavior in this case”… Now that one I find funny.. Because foreingers who KNOW how it is inside Greece AGREE, those who dosnt, dont agree.. Wonder why…
      And ones again.. They agree with the protests (minus those from the public sector) and NOT the few riots (police included)..

      And no, we dont have to agree on anything. Disgustions are good!!! But you fly red as soon as some didnt agree with you.. And at not even answering questions ect.. 😉

      • Tina, unfortuantely, there are quite many Americans/Brits who don’t agree with your protests. You can read the Athens News and Kathemerini English to see week after week of expats complaining about Greeks protesting about issues they themselves caused. They voted for these politicians, and as they say, you get the government you voted for. Why didn’t you vote for the Green party instead if you don’t like Pasok or ND.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          if now governing party PASOK got 46% of the votes in last elections, there is still 54% who voted something else. So let’s assume they have the right to protest. Moreover PASOK came to power with exactly the opposite agenda of what is doing now. Papandreou proclaimed loud and clcear “THERE IS MONEY” – the moment he came to power rushed to D Strauss-Kahn to seek for aid.

        • @Amerikanaki: To be honest, I couldnt care less what people in the states or any other country THINK about the Greeks!!! Come down, live here, earn your living (if u are that lucky) and when u been here for 1 year, then we can talk!!! Then u will see what the system is like…

          Its rather disgusting, that people abroad have to sit and be the judges of a whole countries population, for matters they aint got a clue about!!!..

          • You should care what foreigners say because our money is paying your bills. You should be grateful foreigners still care enough to loan you money still.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            I dare say that I’ve been paying my own bills since i started earning money. Before my parents were paying my bills. Now although my income decrease and my taxes share skyrocketted, I still manage to pay my bills and some of my parents’ bills and while I struggle to make ends meet, I also pay the bills of governments I didn’t voted for.

          • @Steve.. Oh yes.. We should all bend down in pure honor that the foreingers are willing to pay!!! Who do you think they are paying.. The Greeks?? no.. THE BANKS!! French and German banks who are in big big trouble..

            At the same time, we can then also say thank you SO much to all the foreign travelling agencies, who send millions of all incl. tourists down, to support the local Greeks.

            We are all deeply honored!!..

          • and btw.. I pay my own bills out of my own pocket.. So does most other Greeks!!!… But if you wanna pay mine, I can send you my account number..

          • keeptalkinggreece

            *clap*clap* oh yes! let’s all send our bank accounts to Steve, George and whoever else claims he sends money so we can pay our bills – solidarity tax contribution just arrived….

          • keeptalkinggreece

            hm… I have my doubts whether ‘100,000’ IKA pensioners are all fake 1) because people still can register today 2) think of all these oldies who live alone 3) I managed to push my dad really on the last registration day although he reads newspaper and watches TV news daily. He heard it but the info didn’t go from ear to brain – if you understand what I mean..
            As long as fake blinds, fake deaf, fake pensioners, tax dodgers names do not pay back what they got for decades… numbers and names are ‘populists politics’ IMO

          • Agreed!!! They gotta go after those who are doing the cheating. NOT the ones who actually are in need!.. I see more and more old people walking around in the streets begging.. We all know it (at least those who know what its like in Greece) that if you dont have a family who can support you when you get old or sick (or both) you are in BIG trouble.
            But of course, some people prefer to live in ignorance. And its always much easier to sit on a high horse going after people whos situation you dont have a clue about, than actually to sit down and find out what the reality is..

            Have had my share of experience re. the greek system and sick people. Its terrible!! Unfortunatly I am brought up to care for others than myself and it was extremly difficult to see.. And every time I see an old person or handicap begging in the streets it rips my heart out. (and empty my pocket!!)..

    • keeptalkinggreece

      to tell you the truth, Greeks really don’t give a dam what foreigners think the moment they can’t feed their children, they have to come up for aging and sick parents and have no job or just very few means to do it. Moreover the Anti-Greek propaganda in EU & USA have did ‘great job’ in forming people’s opinions. “All Greek are lazy, drink ouzo and dance like Zorbas from morning till night”. That was the foregin media and they do not deserve my or any Greek’s respect. No doubt there are tax-evadors, corrurption, nepotism, and I am really critical on this issues. But really I don’t care if foreigners disapprove the protests.

      However, I tend to smoke a peace pipe with KTG-readers….

      • Hear hear!!!!!!!………

      • Sirtaki is not a greek dance, it’s Hollywood like the suicidal lemmings is Disney and it’s not democratic if one has to ask for allowance to demonstrate.
        Let the Americans demonstrate in circles on the pavement and let’em call fries french allthough they are from Belgium or let them think that the English Britons speak is just a dialect.
        It took 400 years to get rid of the Osmans and my Apache friends will do the same.

  7. I never thought Greeks were lazy. I think you don’t give us foreigners enough credit. The ones who say that probably are not the brightest. Most of the foreigners (like me) who come to Greece know you guys are great! It’s just a few that make you look bad, as I’m sure you could think all British and Americans are drunks based on our behavior on your islands, but I’m sure you know that’s not the case and that would be a stereotypical prejudice.

    And you do this blog for us foreigners as you’ve said, so we do appreciate that.

    So, let’s have a Ouzo and since you mentioned Zorba, remember my favorite saying by Zorba… “When a woman sleeps alone, it shames all men”..

    • I don’t drink Ouzo. I drink Raki and i am from Mani!

    • Credit goes to those who deserve it, but you comments reflects a total lack of understanding of the situation in Greece.. The remark about it beeing common sense to be expect being beaten up by the police, when demonstrating, was beyond. Which reminds me, you still didnt answer my questions on that one..

      Second.. As a foreinger myself, living in Greece for the past 7 years, coming for holidays since I was 9, I didnt believe the stories from here. Until I saw for myself. It was a hard wake up call!!!! And many lessons (the hard way).. I often see Greeks moving back to Greece after 30-40 years abroad. Thinking things have changed. They usually dont last very long!. Nothing has changed here.. Its the same bordello as they left behind years ago. Also its funny to see their attitude.. The “we know the best” mentality, treating locals like the worst and 1 year later, they run back to whereever they came from, like a dog who have been beaten up..

      I do wish though, that many of you, would at least TRY to put yourself in the situation that many Greeks are facing. Not to be able to support your families, no jobs to find ect. It wonders me a bit also that people couldnt see where it was going, I myself had a felling for several years that the economy in Greece was a hot airballon, just waiting for fall down. BUT I also had access to different documents, which a Greek didnt have. They where told over and over again that every thing was fine, that there were enough money ect.
      Each election ive witnessed here, people vote for change, a change which then NEVER comes. And now, most have given up, others are angry and try to fight for their lifes..

      I do not believe anything will change in Greece as long as the Greeks are not allowed to overthrow those in power.. What does it help, when all those doing the cheatings are runing the country?? They need a system change, to get these political families who have been runing this country to the ground OUT.. It dosnt matter if you vote ND or PASOK or whatever.. As we say here “same s…, different day”!!..
      How can we have respect for the EU, when all they support is more taxes and poor people paying, while the big fishes are sitting eating dinner with Merkel?

      But one day, people will wake up… Because its not only in Greece, its everywhere.. And when that day comes I will be clapping my hands..

  8. Journalists just did their jobs….i don understand the attitude of the police force…

  9. We’ve been having problems with street riots since the beginning of the crisis…

  10. I know things must really difficult for people living in Greece right now, and I wish you all the best. In my view what is happening there could soon be happening all across Europe, and already is to some extent in America. have you seen this photo of #occupywallstreet? http://tinyurl.com/3blp7um

    My only advice would be to keep any protests peaceful, even in the face of violence. Remember that the intimidation is a sign of their fear and your success. Peaceful protest has always been a right in any true democracy. Best wishes to everyone.

  11. Greece is only the beginning… more countries will follow…

  12. When the stockmarkets fall people lose money and then unrest start…

    • keeptalkinggreece

      Greeks stay out of ASE since two years at least. The reason for unrest won’t be the stockmarket anymore but salaries and pensions cut at 40% and unemployment.

  13. and it will get worse….Greece is only the 1 country to experience this. Other countries will follow

  14. I’m English, a foreigner on this forum, and I admire the Greeks for standing up and being counted.

    Below is what Merkel said yesterday, and what you have to look forward to, also giving subtle threats about peace if the euro fails. I think her threats about peace are going to be a red rag to a bull if the comments on English sites are anything to go by. Silly woman to say things like that after Germany tried twice to dominate Europe through armed conflict.

    In her speech to the Bundestag, Mrs Merkel, after warning that “no-one should take another 50 years of peace in Europe for granted” if the euro failed, she went on to talk about Greece:

    “But debt restructuring alone does not solve the problem. Painful structural reforms have to be made, otherwise even after debt restructuring we’re back to where we are today,” Merkel warned.

    That’s why, she said, Greece would have to be “assisted” for quite some time. “It’s not enough that the troika comes and goes every three months. It would be desirable to have a permanent supervision in Greece,” she said, adding that this issue would be brought up at the summit.

    In return for what seems to be an unprecedented sovereignty loss in an old EU member state, Merkel promised German investments and mentioned a meeting of local representatives from Germany and Greece in the coming weeks.

    Once they’ve taken control of one sovereign nation they’ll take control of the other EU member states over time.

    I hate the EU and their puppet politicans with a passion, they’ll see all of us, our children/grandchildren in the gutter rather than let their beloved euro/EU project fail.

    Good luck Greece, I only wished the English had the same backbone, and I don’t mean like the rent a OWS crowd, they’re mainly made up of anarchists, students & bored rich kids. Oh and the unions, I read today that a union were collecting donations to pay for their activists to join the OWS.

    • keeptalkinggreece


      • Occupy Wall Street.

        Greece has been plucked, stuffed and roasted by the EU. Once politicans accept the new round of bailouts & diktats it is no longer a sovereign nation. As many have commented, whosoever owns the debt owns the country, and the EU now owns the Greek people, taken over a country lock, stock & barrel. What did our forefathers fight for during WW2, freedom & democracy, both have now been removed from Greece without a shot being fired. I feel so much sympathy for ordinary Greeks, but rest assured unless the euro/EU falls Greece will not be the only country to lose its sovereignty, it’s been the EUs aim from its inception, it’s only now through either deliberate economic chaos or rank stupidity & incompetence that the end game is now in play. I think deliberate economic chaos (beneficial crisis)has been created. Merkel’s, threat that peace cannot be guaranteed in Europe if the euro fails is contemptable, IMHO the EU will in the long run be the cause of another conflict in Europe, the strong arm tactics being used, under the guise of ‘assistance’ is no more than subtle fascism.

  15. Nice reply Rose but what do you mean by the term OWS?

  16. Thank you Andrew.

    OWS – the Protesters that ‘Occupy Wall Street’ it’s what they call themselves.