Gov't calls on parties to take 'clear position' on phenomena of violence

The government on Monday called on all the political parties to take a clear position on phenomena of violence, prompted by a spate of attacks on ruling party MPs in recent days and violence in central Athens last week.
"It is a pressing need for all the parties to take a clear position on the phenomena of violence," government spokesman Elias Mossialos said, adding that the recent violent incidents against politicians "do not characterise the entire political space of SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance", and called on SYRIZA in particular to take a position on announcements by the party's youth organisation.
Speaking on private radio, Mossialos said that violence prohibits freedom of thought, and cannot be tolerated by society and the citizens.

He noted that there is complete freedom of expression in Greece, and every form of peaceful expression is allowed and will continue to be allowed. However, he added, violent reactions cannot be accepted and wondered: "Today it is the MPs. Who will be the next target?"

Mossialos acknowledged that the austerity measures are unfair, but rejected their description as "violent measures" against the citizens.
"We wouldn't want to be in such a position. We found a situation that was out of control and the limits. The economic violence would have been very great if the country had not ensured its financial obligations," the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, parliament president Filippos Petsalnikos called the incidents against MPs as "unprecedented" for Greece since the restoration of democracy.
"These phenomena of counter-demonstratons, counter-protests and attitudes of this kind are unprecedented for our country since the restoration of democracy," Petsalnikos said, adding that he considers them "fascistoid attitudes and mentalities, because fascism is the imposition, through violence, of one's view, a prohibition of expression."
Speaking on state radio, Petsalnikos said such phenomena had existed before the dictatorship "which we want to forget".
Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis, speaking to ANA-MPA, warned that "such phenomena and extremist attitudes" were "butter on the bread of those who are lying in wait against our country", and urged self-restraint and calm, expressing fear that such attitudes abolish democracy in action.

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