Some votes stink

Some votes stink

Can Alkis Kambanos, who was killed by soccer hooligans last week, play the role Pavlos Fyssas (who was killed by a member of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn) did in eliminating a criminal organization? It has been on the minds of many people in recent days, watching the police act diligently and methodically.

Can the murder of an innocent person – that does not make us walk around “with our heads held high,” as the mother of one of the accused urged her son – activate the involved bodies to dismantle hooligan fan clubs and assault squads? Can an organized underworld with strong support behind it – as noted by criminology professor and former minister Giannis Panousis – be smashed? It is obvious that such criminality could not otherwise survive and be perpetuated. “Some people make the accusations go away, some witnesses do not appear in court, some people rescue the perpetrators.” There is a whole system out there, with many tentacles.

To the tragic and colorful, the emotionally charged and extreme things that have been heard and written lately on this story, let us add one more thought: In July 2019, a total of 25 deputies from all the parties were elected in the first and second constituencies of Thessaloniki. If we add the municipal authorities, regional governors and deputy governors, we have a sizable number of officials with significant power. They too are among to the eminent personalities of the city.

Yet very few had the courage to say or post anything on social media, to propose action or to condemn (not just the savage murder) perpetrators and moral instigators, to organize a protest and declare in their presence that “enough is enough.” The soccer clubs with the hidden weapons and the dangerous intimidation were not created in Thessaloniki without their tolerance – that is, without them turning a blind eye.

The representatives of the nation are not elected (and paid) only for speeches and inaugurations of a nonexistent metro, for endless statements to secure votes, wherever they come from. After the 2016 statement of former president of the Hellenic Parliament Nikos Voutsis that “there are no welcome or unwelcome votes,” (to justify the support by Golden Dawn on the changes to the electoral law), we must change course to avoid sinking. We must admit that, yes, some votes are not “welcome.” They stink. And they stink more and more intensely.

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