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100 policemen lost their lives in Greece for the past 26 years, 250 are being wounded during actions each year

03 December 2010 / 10:12:55  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Policemen in Greece are ready for protest actions as they consider the funds provided for them in the state budget for 2011 are insufficient. The President of the Panhellenic Federation of Police Christos Fotopoulos explained in an interview for GRReporter that the Greek police salaries are 30% lower than the last year and were increased 7 years ago.  

"We will organize a protest along with our colleagues from the Coast Guard and firefighters on December 14 or 15, when the general strike of the major trade unions will be held," said Christos Fotopoulos, adding that meetings with leaders of all parliamentary forces as well as with political and professional leadership of the police will be held by then to present the demands and proposals of the trade union organization. Among the demands of the Federation of Police is the reallocation of police forces so that they do not act as bureaucratic mechanisms but most of the policemen to be in the streets, not to stay in the offices.

They pay from the union particular attention to the lack of hygiene and safety in police stations. "It is unacceptable 25-40 people to stay for months or even half a year in arrests intended for short stays of 4-5 people. The situation is particularly complicated in recent years due to lack of immigration policy. Many immigrants remain in custody for a long time in bad conditions and that not only creates problems for the police staff but violates their rights."

100 policemen lost their lives since 1984 and about 250 are being wounded every year during actions. However, "our work is not recognized as dangerous," said the unionist and stressed the great importance they attach to the good training of the police personnel at the police schools. "We want perfectly trained officers that have a democratic attitude to people to leave the schools. We want promotions in the hierarchy to be based on objective qualities, and non-partisan parliamentary committee to select the police chief, not the Minister directly. This was the proposal of the current chief when he was still lower in the hierarchy and when he was unionist," said Christos Fotopoulos.  

The way the new terrorist generation acts and its ideological grounds are the two main focuses of the police. "Training is necessary to be able to avert a possible bad turn of events. We expect this phenomenon to intensify because the rise of unemployment and reduction of income are conditions conducive for that," considered the unionist and added: "My feeling is that we will witness great social unrest and the police will have to suffer its consequences again. Whenever the system has problems it uses the police to absorb social tension. I fear this will happen again although we disagree the police to be used as a mechanism to suppress the protests of other working people. Political, social and economic problems must be solved through political measures and it is inappropriate governments hide their helplessness behind the dynamic presence of the police when they can not solve these problems."

Tags: Police trade unionsProtestsSocial unrestTerrorismCrime news
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