“Tear gas has exhausted its effectiveness, we’re thinking to use water against rioters,” Greek Minister of Citizen protection Nikos Dendias said on Wednesday. Speaking to Real FM, Dendias described the use of water as an “attempt by the Greek police to focus on more modern ways.”
As the autumn is expected to turn hot due to protests against additional austerity measures, the political leadership is apparently preparing to deal with a series of demonstrations that could turn really ugly as it often happened during the last two years. Not seldom masked protesters caused serious damages to shops and other facilities in downtown Athens, set fires and looted stores, while in May 2010 three employees and an unborn baby lost their lives, when protesters threw molotov cocktails inside a bank.
“We can not allow a situation in which the country will become a mess. Absolute respect for the right to protest, but also bsolute respect for the wider legitimacy, for the right of other Greek citizens to work and not close the all the streets of the capital every once in a while,” Dendias streesed implying also a change in to the framework of protests concerning the places where they would be held.
Last spring, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis had proposed that protests would be held only at pavements or away from the city centre. A proposal that was met with ironic comments from several society groups.
Concerning the issue of tear gas, that sent thousands of peaceful demonstrators to hospitals with respiratory problems and drew the criticism of physicians associations and pharmacists, Dendias said:
“Tear gas has exhuasted its effectiviness, as they are used against righteous and unrighteous and because the use of masks by protesters is against the law.”
In this context there is an effort by Greek police to use more modern ways and one thought is the use of water,” the Minister said adding “this is not a footnote of retreat from the requirement of compliance with the law.”
Dendias did not elaborate when the use of water hose against protesters will be implemented.
As for the operation “Xenios Zeus” where Greek police detains illegla immigrants, puts them into camps and deports them, Dendias said that it will not be a temporary operation and that it will be extended also to other Greek cities, besides Athens. (via Ethnos.gr)
PS if it is just “a thought” angry Greeks will have to inhale teargas also in the upcoming autumn and winter…
PS Considering the high costs of living and the permanently decreasing wages, Greek police could offer FREE SHOWERS to protesters: water canon-shampoo, water canon-shower gel, water canon-water pure for the rinsing 🙂 Idea inspired by FB friend Jim Flo
The immediate question arises here, who is trying to sell riot control water cannon to Greece? Would it be Carat Group Centigon (France), or Greece’s new friends Israel (Beit Alfa Technologies), or Uncle Sam’s ISBI, who also make other riot control systems like rubber bullets etc?
Or could this be he reason the Troika has refused the Greek government permission to reduce the defense budget in their quest to find 11.2 billion €?
Read that again. The Troika refuses the Greek government permission to… What a joke!
Mayor Kaminis proposal to move the protests and protest out of the city center is one that is a great idea. During the Bush Administration in the US, I remember reading about one anti-war group that did not get a permit to demonstrate but they allowed them to protest the war in a field some 20 miles from Washington. That way, they could scream their anti-war comments but those people who just wanted to go to work and not deal with protesters could do so. Ultimately, I think protesters should be given some land in Menidi or other locations outside of Athens and let them do their thing and that way the rest of us who just want to go to work don’t have to deal with them.