Sunday, October 2, 2016

Greece: Communist mayor slams SYRIZA government, boycotts Tsipras' fiesta

KKE-backed mayor of Kesariani,
Ilias Stamelos.
ATHENS- In a symbolic gesture which carries a great message, the communist (KKE-backed) mayor of Kesariani, Ilias Stamelos, officially denied to participate in a governmental fiesta for the 75th anniversary of the country's most significant WW2 resistance movement, EAM (National Liberation Front). The government, along with the state television, ERT, are organising an event at the Kesariani Shooting Range (Skopeftirio)* on Sunday 2 October. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is scheduled to attend the event. 

In a letter addressed to the SYRIZA-ANEL government, mayor Stamelos points out the the city council's decision to deny any participation in October 2nd governmental event. Ilias Stamelos mentions that the heroic legacy of Kesariani's Shooting Range is in contrast with the governmental policy which attacks the rights of the working people. In his letter, among other things, the communist mayor writes:

"The policy exercised by the government is in total dissociation with the struggles and the claims of Kesariani's people and is directed against the Greek people in general. The SYRIZA-ANEL government has unleashed an attack against the rights and achievements of the people. It votes and applies memorandums of austerity, thus implementing a policy which crashes the people with taxes and reductions in wages and pensions, while on the same time it offers exemptions to the big capital". [...]

"Within the spirit of the city council's decisions, as the mayor of Kesariani, honoring the history of the city, the historical memory and the lessons from the struggles and the sacrifices of the previous generations, the 750 people executed at the Shooting Range, I will not attend the 2nd October's event"

The decision of mayor Stamelos to avoid attending the governmental fiesta is both a correct and proud gesture. The "left" government of Mr.Tsipras tries to atone itself for the antipeople, antiworkers policy by appealing to the heroic struggles of the past. The Tsipras' government, which has been proved an extraordinary collaborator of the imperialist organisations and mechanisms (EU, NATO), has no right to exploit the sacrifices of communists and resistance fighters in order to improve it's public image.

Photo from the interior of "Skopeftirio" in Kesariani. The signs on the wall bear the names of
those executed by the Nazi forces during WW2.
*Kesariani's "Shooting Range", known in Greek as "Skopeftirio".

Kesariani is a suburban town and a municipality in the eastern part of the Athens metropolitan region. It is located approximately 3km south-east of the center of Athens. The Kaisariani Shooting Range (Skopeftirio) is notable  as the site of executions by the Nazi forces during the Second World War. The best known- and most tragic- crime committed there was the mass execution of 200 communists by the Nazi occupiers on May 1, 1944.