CAIRO: A Greek national has presented a complaint to the Greek Embassy in Cairo accusing the Greek government of “co-responsibility for the war in Gaza.
Marina Demetriadou, a student of Arabic in Cairo, handed the statement to the embassy on Wednesday morning.
She was told that the ambassador himself would be unable to receive it personally because he was not present.
Demetriadou then held up a banner outside the embassy which read, “Greek government kills in Greece and Gaza.
“The recent revelation of the use of Greek territory for the shipment of ammunition to Israel renders the Greek government co-responsible for the war in Gaza , the statement handed in by Demetriadou reads.
Earlier this month news agencies carried reports that the US military had to cancel a planned shipment of munitions from the Greek port of Astakos to Ashdod, Israel, after strong objections from the Greek public and opposition parties.
According to Reuters the request for the charter was made on Dec. 31, during the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
Demetriadou says that the Greek government initially denied the allegations, until irrefutable evidence of the deal emerged, including tender documents listing details of the merchant ship which was to transport some 3,000 tons of ammunition.
The statement calls for “the immediate prohibition on the use of Astakos port for the processing of US containers carrying armaments or ammunition bound for Israel , “a prohibition on the use of Greek territory for military-related activities that contribute to the destabilization of the Middle East region and “the immediate closure of US bases in Greece because “Greece is not a protectorate.
In addition, the statement calls for the “reallocation of Greece s current military budget for the improvement of education, welfare and infrastructure.
The statement is also harshly critical of the Greek government.
“The Greek government has made clear, even to the most naive citizens of Greece, that it is incapable of defending the interests of the peoples of Greece and does not represent them any more.
“Scandals, corruption, attacks on the welfare state and public education, the damaging of the economy, the intensifying of police control, and restrictions on personal and democratic freedoms are the main characteristics of the politics of the government in power.
Demetriadou told Daily News Egypt that over 100 people have been charged with theft and criminal damage since the uprising which began in December after a 15 year-old boy was shot and killed by a member of the police.
She says that many of those accused taking part in the riots have been detained under a counter-terrorism law introduced in 2001.
The law gives the police the power to detain people in custody without charge.
Demetriadou says that the killing of Alexandros Grigoropoulos was the “last straw and that there is widespread support in Greek society for the uprising.
While the government says that a ricocheted bullet killed Grigoropoulos, witnesses allege that he was murdered.
“Even my family, who are non-political and quite conservative, support what is happening – everyone supports it, even those who are not involved in it, Demetriadou said.
“Images in the media of plain-clothed policemen, who had infiltrated anarchist groups, bearing truncheons and arresting protestors were extremely provocative. The media in any case has – for the first time – justified the violence, which mainly targets symbols of state power.
On the Socialist Review website Greek contributor George Pittas writes of the uprising, saying that “anger at the government s neoliberal policies and police brutality has electrified Greece.
“Before the murder almost nobody could imagine that such things could happen. But, just like the crisis, the anger was right there if you wanted to see it. There is anger against the police, who over the past decade have beaten, harassed and killed immigrants, young kids and demonstrators with impunity, Pittas writes.
“There is anger against a government that has given ?28 billion to the banks while passing privatization and anti-labor laws when almost half of workers live under the poverty line. There is anger against a government that has faced a scandal almost every single month, with six of its ministers resigning consequently.
Earlier this month, Egyptian and Greek journalists and activists organized a solidarity event – with the 15-year-old victim and the Athens demonstrations – at the Journalists’ Syndicate in Cairo.