Greeks seem to have a new hobby: boo and insult politicians while they hold election campaign meetings. The number of incidents increase almost on a daily basis, as the elections thermometer rises, the politicians are exposed to the public preferably via the secure area of the television screen and the leaders of the two major political parties (socialist PASOK, conservative Nea Dimokratia) give pre-elections promises elaborately omitting self-criticism and acceptance of responsibilities.
At the same time, the public gets more and more angry as the day after the elections will bring additional austerity measures, wage cuts, job losses and increases in utilities, public transport and heating oil, just to name a few.
Those who mostly receive the indignation of citizens are the ministers and candidates of socialist PASOK as it is the party that took the country to the tentacles of IMF under the prime ministership of George Papandreou. A party that ruled the country for almost three decades and it is considered responsible for the establishment of the clientelism-state, for the tolerance of entanglement and corruption, if not for their legitimation through unwritten laws.
Even though open large meetings and rallies with deafening loudspeakers, huge banners, big party flags and slogans heralding a certain win have been replaced by meeting with controllable groups of supporters, there are always protesters around, who put obstacles and spoil the political broth.
Protesters Target Development Minister
On Monday evening, Minister of Development Anna Diamantopoulou became the target of verbal attacks by indignant citizens, while she was chatting with voters at a taverna in Kaisariani suburb of eastern Athens.
Greek media report that when residents learned that Diamantopoulou was holding this meeting, they gathered outside the taverna and started shouting asking her to leave.
“You have the nerve to come here, you are a disgrace, you screwed us” is woman is heard saying, while a group of people was chanting “Out!Out!” and “Freedom!”
“What do you say to those who commit suicide every day? To those who are hungry?” a man shouted.
With the situation threatening to get out of control, police was called in to disperse the protesting crowd.
Finally, the Minister left and peace returned in the area.
You Know who am I?
Daily “Demokratia” speaks of another incident that occurred when former PASOK minister Christos Protopapas stopped to speak with two women, he falsely considered as potential PASOK voters.
Protopapas had a meeting with local party officials at a cafe, when he stopped to greet two women enjoying their coffee at a nearby table. The Newspaper published the dialogue among politician and woman
-“You have a lot of nerve to want to greet me, I don’t want even to see you around”, the woman told him, according to the newspaper.
-“How dare you talk to me like this. Do you know who am I?” Protopapas answered
-“A big scale unionist who sold out everything to become deputy. I get sick just to see you”, said the woman.
According to newspaper, when Protopapas left, two of his guards approached the woman and asked her personal data as well as her mobile phone, suspecting she had filmed the incident with its camera. The woman refused to do anything of what she was asked to and she was taken to the nearby police station! She is said to had to stay there for 3 hours because the former minister had filed a complaint against her. The woman reported about the incident on her Facebook page. (Dimokratia via NoNews-News blog)
Chasing Snobbish Politicians at open market
Open market vendors apparently chased a candidate of far-right LAOS (former Papademos government partner) when a vendor refused to accept his elections leaflet. The candidate allegedly threatened the vendor that he would cancel his licence on May 7th, a day after the elections. It was then a matter of seconds that the eye-witnesses of the incident, the vendors colleagues, to start chasing the candidate, who would hardly visit again the open market of Makrychori.
Over the week end, former PASOK minister Petros Eythimiou became the target of members of extreme-right Chrysi Aygi and Minister for Citizens’ Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis by members of left-wing groups. Citizens and left-wing party members had protested PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos two days earlier.
Whether organized or spontaneous the protests against party candidates have forced aspiring politicians to be cautious on who they meet even in closed meetings.
Nevertheless, PASOK apparently plans an open rally at Syntagma Square in front of the Parliament short before the election campaign period concludes.
PS Just wondering whether the rally will take place under the guardianship of riot police.