ATHENS – Jailed hunger striker Dimitris Koufodinas’ disbanded November 17 group that killed 23 people – he murdered 11 – wasn’t a terrorist group, said a major opposition SYRIZA Member of Parliament Thodoris Dritsas.
Fury from critics and rivals erupted almost as he was speaking in support of Koufodinas’ demand to be transferred from a high-security prison in Domokos in central Greece to the Korydallos Prison in Athens, his health said deteriorating in a hospital in Larissa where he’s being monitored.
“I do not think anyone has been intimidated by the actions of these organizations. No one has been intimidated by November 17. On the contrary, the Greek people have been terrorized by many other policies,” Dritsas told One TV.
He was apparently trying to draw a parallel between murder and the ruling New Democracy administration’s stance refusing to bend to Koufodinas, who had been transferred from Korydallos to a low-security work farm under SYRIZA.
Upon ousting the Leftists in July 7, 2019 snap elections, New Democracy had him moved to Domokos and also ended a SYRIZA regime policy of giving him six vacations from jail, where he was spotted walking around Athens smiling and pointing out the spots where he killed people.
He was chief of operations for Nov. 17 which also murdered five Americans attached to the US Embassy over the years and is a darling of SYRIZA’s hard-core elements who sympathize with terrorists and anarchists.
“The government is acting in a retaliatory and illegal manner because most of the victims of November 17 and Dimitris Koufodinas belonged to the right wing,” Dritsas said, apparently suggesting they deserved what they got.
He said the government wasn’t complying with the law in keeping him in Domokos where he complained about tight living quarters and being near other inmates after getting preferential treatment under SYRIZA.
New Democracy – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ Brother-in-law, politician Pavlos Bakoyiannis – was gunned down by the terrorist group in 1989, Koufodinas showing no remorse for any of the murders.
After the government called on SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to reprimand Dritsas’ statements, calling them “inadmissible for a representative of a parliamentary party,” the Leftists said his remarks were “unfortunate.”
But it stopped there with Dritsas able to get his words out, his party saying that what he said “does not express either him or SYRIZA. Besides, he clarified it immediately with his additional statement in no uncertain terms.”
That was in reference to Dritsas trying to take back what he said by spinning that his remarks really meant that Greeks weren’t intimidated by Nov. 17 ,” SYRIZA said in a press release, reported Kathimerini.
“There’s an ideological abyss that separates the Left and the progressive faction from terrorism. Because for us, human life is the supreme value,” said SYRIZA’s statement without explaining why they back a killer.
New Democracy said Dritsas’ statement “brutally insults” the memory of the 23 people who have been killed by the group and “show complete contempt for the pain of the families that mourn the loss of their loved ones.
The Center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) described the comments by Dritsas as “unacceptable, ahistorical and provocative and that, “Terrorism is the enemy of democracy.”