One man has died in hospital after violent clashes between union members from PAME a part of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and anarchists (provocateurs). The events marred the second day of a massive 48-hour strike, ahead of this evening’s parliamentary vote on a raft of new austerity measures. The official report was that Dimitris Kotsaridis, a 53-year-old construction worker and trade unionist, died of heart failure at Evangelismos hospital. Witnesses though, say otherwise, as do the Red Cross officials who tended to him after he fell from a height on Syntagma Square when PAME and the provocateurs began to clash.They claim that he suffered head concussions.
Kotsaridis was one of around 50 people who were rushed to the Evangelismos hospital this afternoon for suffering injuries from rocks and marble or from suffering from serious respiratory problems.
He was unemployed, married with two children.
Clashes between rival groups of protesters broke out in front of the parliament interrupting a rally by tens of thousands against a tough new package of austerity measures due to be approved later in the evening.
As tens of thousands joined anti-austerity demonstrations on the second day of a general strike, SKAI television broadcast images of a captured PAME member being dragged and then beaten brutally by at least two dozens of assailants in the square.
Police stood by as hundreds of black-clad youths hurled stones and petrol bombs at demonstrators and did not do anything.
PASOK MPs are expected to pass the plan late on Thursday after the bill passed a first vote on Wednesday. “You have to approve the law, with all its clauses,” Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers. “This is not a game. If anybody thinks they can test how much wiggle-room we’ve have, they’re mistaken.”
A vote is expected late on Thursday but no precise time has been set.
After last minute arm-twisting from party bosses, two potential rebel deputies swallowed their objections and said they would vote to pass the bill but said they could accept no more austerity.
Hellasfrappe was present at today’s demonstrations, and can safely and responsibly say that they were not provoked from PAME members.
We would like to extend our condolences to his wife and children.
Kalo Taksidi Dimitri