OPINION

‘Regrettable incident’

Rather than calling the fatal shooting of the young man in Crete last week by a policeman a «regrettable» incident, and rather than feeling sorry because, as he said, the event cast a shadow on the very good job done by the island’s police authorities, Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis should instead deal with certain issues within the realm of his responsibility. Several «regrettable» incidents like the most recent one underscore that either armed policemen have not received proper training in firearms use or that they are indeed well-trained but follow higher orders to use these skills by opening fire on unarmed citizens who display «anti-social behavior» without worrying that killing an innocent human being will affect their careers. Of course, the fact that the death of Iraklis Maragakis was caused by a bullet fired by a police gun was a «regrettable incident» need not be expressed in a ministerial statement. Floridis would feel still deeper regret should he read the report by the Rethymnon police chief to the Greek police headquarters, ELAS, whereby he justifies the shooting (on the grounds of the «anti-social» behavior exhibited by the people in the car that came under fire), adding that the shots that killed Maragakis were aimed at the car tires. If the minister agrees with the Rethymnon police chief’s statement, then every Greek citizen should worry that should they or their child not stop for a police roadblock, they may well end up in the hospital or morgue. It seems that this is what the police chief was taught and that he is now, in turn, teaching this to a new generation of policemen, including special guards who are sent out to conduct roadblocks. Does Floridis think this simply a «regrettable» incident, even as a member of a modern-minded Socialist government that dreads the idea of the reinstatement of the right wing ?