Mitsotakis, Gennimata on school sit-ins against Prespa pact: Protest a right, but with classrooms open
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party president Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday weighed in over a successive wave of high school occupations and sit-ins by pupils – mostly in northern Greece – aimed to express opposition to a provisional agreement between Athens and Skopje to resolve the long-standing “fYRoM name issue”.
Speaking from the western port city of Patras, Mitsotakis said “every Greek, and every youth has the right to protest” against the Prespa agreement, while quickly adding, however:
“ND was, is and will always be opposed to every form of (school) sit-ins. Others built their political careers on such sit-ins,” he said, an indirect dig at current Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The latter, more than two and a half decades ago, emerged as a teenage leader in a wave of similar such protests, then opposed to education reforms, and with a decidedly leftist and far left direction.
“Nevertheless, closed schools mean closed minds, and I would not, under any circumstance, want well-meaning patriotism to become the tinder of a barren and extreme nationalism in the hands of certain deft hands,” he emphasized.
Ιn an equally prickly response, unnamed sources from within Tsipras office countered that “others emerged through social struggles (i.e. Tsipras) and others with the help of their father and sister,” a reference to late Greek PM Constantine Mitsotakis and one-time foreign minister and Athens mayor Dora Bakoyannis, the father and sister, respectively, of Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Top representatives of the current leftist-rightist coalition government, including the government spokesman and the relevant education minister, recently expressed annoyance with the occupation of high schools, with references to “reactionist” elements and to alleged influence exerted on protesting pupils by the ultra-nationalist Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party. Political parties and much of the media Greece have warned that the highly controversial party has a neo-Nazi background and ideology.
“For us, genuine patriotism was always opposed to hate and nationalism,” PASOK party president Fofi Gennimata said, in a Tweet.
She added that “we’re closing the doors to fanaticism and divisiveness; we’re listening to the concerns and sensitivities of our children, but with schools open”.
You may be interested
NATO & Russia are flexing their military might right next to each other: Here are the 25 most powerful militaries in EuropePanos - Oct 17, 2019
NATO member and partner forces are in Norway for a sprawling military exercise called Trident Juncture — the largest since…
“Favelas” emerge in Samos from refugees, says MayorPanos - Oct 17, 2019
The conditions in the refugee receptions centers on the islands of Lesvos and Samos are rapidly deteriorating, as the number…
From Mycenaean to Macedon: The prominence of Eretria in Greek colonizationPanos - Oct 17, 2019
Eretria is an ancient Greek city-state located in the southern part of Euboea, a Greek island facing the coast of…