For 120 euros…

It transpires that the three off-duty policemen who on Monday robbed an immigrant of 120 euros after stopping him on the pretext of an identity check had gone down to Vathis Square to «let their hair down.» But they had taken their guns and batons with them, just in case they needed them. And, being three armed Greeks against one unarmed foreigner, the guardians of the law against someone we presume guilty until proven innocent, the trio achieved a great triumph. Anticipating the fear of a person far away from home, they demanded to see his identification before robbing him of 120 euros. They then continued their spree with an assault on two alleged drug addicts – whom we generally treat in much the same way as foreigners. The trio’s loot is the equivalent of 41,000 drachmas. Even for one policeman (let alone a group of three), such a sum is pretty insignificant – hardly enough for a night at a fourth-rate bouzouki venue. But for an immigrant, 120 euros could be a monthly wage. The value of stolen goods always corresponds to the need of the victim rather than that of the robber. In this case, the 120 euros amount to wounded self-respect, and shame. And it is our shame, because we will invariably find some convenient explanation to assert, once again, that such incidents are few and far between – even when this is not the case.

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