Monday, December 8, 2008

Thoughts on the Riots in Greece

For the past three days,"youths" have been rioting in Greece after the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

Although there have been no fatalities in the riots many have been injured and there has been tremendous damage to property.

The AP is now beginning to identify these youths as anarchists rather than Muslims. Well, whomever is causing this violence it is difficult to understand why. A police officer has been charged with murder in connection with Grigoropoulos' death.

Unless, of course, the "youths" are seeking to overthrow the democratically elected government of Konstantinos Karamanlis who was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2007 albeit with a one seat majority. Karamanlis leads the conservative New Democracy Party. In recent years, his government has been undertaking reforms to the country's university system which has sparked large demonstrations and shutdowns by student organizations. Whether this is connected to Grigopoulos' death cannot be said with any certainty. What is certain is that the behavior of the "youths" is being encouraged by the Greek Communists and Coalition of the Radical Left who are both planning large demonstrations in Athens this evening.

As lamentable as the death of a 15-year-old boy is it is no excuse for rioting and political parties ought not be legitimizing violence. A police officer has been charged with the boy's murder. This should be left to the Greek justice system. But if these "youths" insist on violence and mayhem then the Greek government must use lawful force and put these riots to an end.

No comments: