SYRIZA lawmaker Thodoris Dritsas provoked a backlash on Tuesday after stating that the deadly November 17 terror group, of which jailed terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas was a leading member, had not terrorized anyone.
“With what [the government] is doing, a debate on the action of the armed forces and terrorism will be revived,” he told One TV.
“I do not think anyone has been terrorized by the actions of these organizations. No one has been terrorized by November 17. On the contrary, the Greek people have been terrorized by many other policies,” he said, adding that the government’s stance toward Koufodinas, who is on a hunger strike to demand a prison transfer, is vindictive and not in line with the law.
“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, a former shipping minister in the previous SYRIZA government, said.
“For some reason, which everyone can evaluate as they wish, most of the victims of November 17’s actions, whether publishers or politicians or anything other, belonged to this political faction, so I can understand the anger, the indignation,” he added.
In response, ruling New Democracy called on SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to take a stand on the statements by Dritsas, calling them “inadmissible for a representative of a parliamentary party.”
Center-left Movement for Change described the comments by Dritsas as “unacceptable, ahistorical and provocative.” “Terrorism is the enemy of democracy,” said its spokesman Pavlos Christidis.
“We paid dearly, as a country, for the action of November 17, until the PASOK government dismantled,” he said.
November 17 was active between 1975 and 2002, when it was dismantled and its members arrested and jailed.