Party purists col­lide with gov’t

Evac­u­a­tion of pro­test­ers from build­ings draws ire of SYRIZA hard­lin­ers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The grow­ing di­vide be­tween the gov­ern­ment and sec­tions of rul­ing SYRIZA was high­lighted again yes­ter­day after the Group of 53 fac­tion ac­cused it of em­brac­ing a “law and or­der“men­tal­ity. The com­ment came in the wake of Wed­nes­day’s forcible evac­u­a­tion of anti-es­tab­lish­ment pro­test­ers – chiefly for­eign­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the city’s pro-refugee No Bor­der Camp – from three occu- pied build­ings in Thes­sa­loniki.

And with the left­ist-led coali­tion com­ing un­der in­creas­ing crit­i­cism from SYRIZA purists for sup­pos­edly veer­ing away from the party’s fun­da­men­tals, yes­ter­day’s crit­i­cism by the Group of 53 – self-ap­pointed guardian of SYRIZA ide­ol­ogy – is seen as an­other blow to the rul­ing party’s co­he­sion, which it has strug­gled to main­tain since the gov­ern­ment went back on its pre-elec­tion pledge to re­verse aus­ter­ity and signed an­other bailout with Greece’s cred­i­tors.

Ci­ti­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Nikos Toskas had de­fended the po­lice op­er­a­tion say­ing that “no one can do what­ever he wants,” draw­ing a sharp-worded re­sponse from the party, which ac­cused the min­is­ter of “crim­i­nal­iz­ing” acts of sol­i­dar­ity – re­fer­ring to the mo­tives of the pro­test­ers who oc­cu­pied a univer­sity cam­pus pledg­ing al­le­giance to the mi­grants stranded in the coun­try.

The Group of 53 upped the ante yes­ter­day, de­nounc­ing the min­istry’s strong-arm “dogma” as a re­gres­sion to the time when New Democ­racy was in of­fice and urged the gov­ern­ment to re­frain from tak­ing le­gal action against the ar­rested pro­test­ers.

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