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Retired military officers booed Panos Kamenos

19 September 2012 / 19:09:33  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Crying "All thieves - in prison," and "We do not want any politicians here," a group of participants in the protest of retired military officers booed the leader of Independent Greeks Panos Kamenos, who tried to join them in front of the parliament building.
Despite the reactions, some of the military, who were obviously the initiators of his appearance there, tried to meet him properly. The party leader shook hands with some of the participants, and then climbed the stairs, which he had climbed down minutes earlier, booed by pensioners.

About 500 - 600 people attended today's protest of retired military officers. They gathered at Klathmonos Square, where they heard the speeches of their union leaders and then set off to Syntagma Square.
They protested against the anticipated new cuts in their pensions, which for some will mean a reduction by half in income, according to one of the chairmen of their associations.
He stressed that the state had "robbed" the insurance funds of military officers and that the money they had collected was lost due to the haircut of the Greek debt.

"We do not accept answers like ‘there is no money’. We want the stolen money to be returned by the government and the Bank of Greece," the representative said and added that the associations have already made a written request to the major banking institution in Greece.
"We do not invite the parties to the protests. We do not want them to come here in order to attract voters. They should be with us in parliament when laws are being voted, we do not need them here. No one should consider us one of them," he said firmly.
A little later, retired military officers began their procession to Syntagma Square. While they were walking, military marches could be heard over the loudspeakers and the participants in the protest were singing.

When they arrived at the square, two delegations went to the parliament and the Ministry of Finance to present the protest letters against the new austerity measures. The protesters remained in the middle of the square, where they had raised a big flag. A disabled military officer in a wheelchair at the age of over 100 years took part in the protest too.

Gradually, the protest moved to the monument of the Unknown Soldier in front of parliament. There were several officers deployed around it. When the military saw them, they began to shout the slogan, "Army and police – the power is one."
They gathered at the monument of the Unknown Soldier, sang the national anthem and were ready to end their protest, when some colleagues of theirs brought Panos Kamenos, who was greeted as previously described.  

After about an hour, the press office of Independent Greece was issued the following message, which attributed the responses to "separate players - appluaders of New Democracy." According to the people from the party, the leader was invited to participate.
"Then, they went to the table on which the Independent Greeks were collecting signatures for the formation of a parliamentary commission on the Memorandum, a fact, which all present can prove.
The few protesters - apparently members of the professional organization of New Democracy, who tried to preside over the others who were present with insults and derogatory definitions cannot convince the Greeks, who know that Independent Greeks is the only patriotic, democratic party against the Memorandum, which supports their protests and has attempted to resist the Memorandum policies from the outset."
The message ends with the advice, "Instead of organizing provocations, it would be better to respond to the colleagues whether they will continue to vote for those, who implement the policy of the Memorandum."
The report only partially confirms the arguments of the party. Indeed, some of the protesters have signed the petition of Independent Greeks, which, Panos Kamenos personally started on Monday. This happened before the procession reached the parliament. The protest ended after the episodic appearance of the party leader.

Tags: PoliticsSocietyProtest of retired military officersPanos Kamenos
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