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Protest in defence of immigrant survivors of Farmakonisi

30 January 2014 / 15:01:02  GRReporter
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The police arrested 45 people who had symbolically occupied the political office of Minister of Merchant Marine Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on "Gennadiou" street in the central district of Kolonaki. The Minister, who is a hereditary functionary of the ruling New Democracy party, said a week ago that the first task of the coast guard service was to guard the borders of Greece and the second to save lives. He made the statement shortly after the accident near the island of Farmakonisi which killed 12 illegal immigrants, all of them being women and children. Survivors of the accident accused the coast guard service of Greece of deliberately turning upside down the boat, which was full of immigrants, preventing then the men from rescuing their drowning spouses and children.

Representatives of the organization "Left Unity", which consists mainly of student supporters of SYRIZA, had entered the building that houses Varvitsiotis’ office and pasted up on its floors stickers with accusations against the Minister. They had reached the office on the seventh floor, aiming to deliver a petition but the staff did not open the door. Then they had gathered in the street and started chanting "Varvitsiotis - killer", "Farmakonisi was a murder ", "No man is illegal", writing the same slogans on the walls.

Then the police intervened and arrested the accusers of the Minister.

Meanwhile, Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias defined as "tragic" the quality of the immigrants accepted by Greece. "Their culture and traditions are tragic. I do not underestimate anyone, but they come from a completely different world," he said. "The immigrants to Sweden from the Soviet Union measure up. We accept people from Bangladesh and Afghanistan. This is our misfortune," specified Dendias.

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