An appeal to protesting citizens to avoid "answering government violence with violence" was made on Thursday by Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras, in the wake of violent incidents during Wednesday's protests in Athens that sent one protestor to a hospital intensive care unit in a coma.
Tsipras made the statements while touring the island of Kos and expressed fears that the crisis would become generalised.
SYRIZA's leader called on citizens to demand the democratic right to demonstrate and protest but stressed that there were two paths: that of generalised social chaos and blind violence and the democratic path.
He called on the government to provide a democratic way out of the crisis by resorting to the popular vote in order to determine whether citizens really agreed with its policies.
In an earlier announcement, the main constituent party of the SYRIZA alliance, the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN), accused the government of being the instigator of the incidents during the anti-austerity demonstration.
A SYN statement underlined that “the murderous attacks by riot police against the mass demonstration organized by the country’s trade unions directly target the constitutionally guaranteed right of the citizens to demonstrate and are a threat to Democracy.”
A SYRIZA spokesman also strongly rejected criticism levelled against SYRIZA MPs by government spokesman George Petalotis, concerning their reactions to the injury of a 31-year-old protestor taken to Nikaia hospital in critical condition.
In his statements, Petalotis had condemned the violence that led to the injury of the protestor but at the same time accused SYRIZA MPs Panagiotis Lafazanis and Iro Dioti of "vigilantism" through their actions at the hospital.