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Politics

Greek Lawmaker Says Riot Police Beat Her at Education Protest

February 11, 2021

ATHENS – A Greek Parliament Vice-President and member of  MeRA25 Sofia Sakorafa, was attacked by riot police outside Attica police headquarters as she tried to intervene during a protest over education reform, her party said.

Sakorafa was at the building along with others after a roundup of demonstrators who objected to a New Democracy government bill bringing tougher standards for universities and setting up campus cop forces.

Referring to Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, the party said Sakorafa was attacked by "Chryssochoidis' riot police" when she intervened while the riot police "were attacking those gathered there,” reported Kathimerini.

Chryssochoidis and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis "are fully responsible for these unprecedented and extremely tragic incidents that directly resemble a dictatorship wearing the guise of parliamentary rule," MeRA 25 added.

There was no immediate reaction from party leader Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance chief while serving the previous ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, who is usually outspoken and provocative over many issues.

Fellow Members of Parliament who heard of the incident called for a break in the proceedings of the debate on the education bill until a minister could show up with explanations, the paper said.

Later, police reportedly said they were not aware who she was and that she wouldn’t have been assaulted if they had without explaining why anyone would be roughed up at a protest.

At least 30 people were detained during the protest against the education reform bill that was being debated in Parliament after a group clashed with riot police who sprayed tear gas against them about 3,000 to 4,000 people had gathered before marching toward Parliament, violating a COVID-19 ban.

The midday march included university students, unions representing school teachers, and others who are demanding the bill be set aside, not wanting higher standards which would ban them being students for life.

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