Greek riot police condemned!

Marios Lolos addressing a rally of trade unionists in Athens
Marios Lolos addressing a rally of trade unionists in Athens

THE leaders of the Greek journalists and photoreporters’ trade unions have demanded that the police leadership stops its violence against press workers and releases the name of the riot policeman who assaulted and hit in the head the President of the Greek Photoreporters’ Union, Marios Lolos.

Lolos underwent surgery on his skull and was treated in hospital for three days.

His wife Dina Daskalopoulou, also a photoreporter, said that the police blow to Lolos’ head was so vicious that it created a two inch cavity; she stated that ‘if the blow had gone just a little deeper Lolos could have been dead’.

Daskalopoulou said that both she and the Photoreporters’ Union are bringing legal action against the police leaders and the Ministers responsible.

The journalist Manolis Kypraios said that he has lost his hearing following an attack by riot police who threw a noise-lightning grenade at him; Kypraios claimed that the police use of such grenades is illegal and even the manufacturers state that they should be used only ‘by special forces in hostage release operations’.

Both the leaders of the Greek Journalists’ Union and of the Athens Journalists’ Union called on the police and on the Ministry for Public Order to release the name of the policeman who hit Lolos.

The vice-president of the Photoreporters’ Union, Yiorgjos Papathanasiou, said that according to an official report almost half of the union’s members have been attacked by police in recent years.

Following the press conference, journalists and photographers staged a demonstration that marched to the Greek Prime Minister’s office shouting slogans against police violence.

The Greek Prime Minster banker Loukas Papademos has declared a general election for Sunday May 6th.

According to opinion polls published yesterday, both the two main bourgeois parties, the conservatives and the social-democrats, will be crushed.

But their leaders hope that they will be able to muster together a 35 per cent of the vote so that they would be able to form yet another coalition government.

Already, the EC and the IMF have openly declared their support for the two main parties and that they must implement the new barbarous EC-IMF programme of mass sackings in the public sector, 16bn euros cuts in health and education, and further wages and pensions cuts of at least 10 per cent.