OPINION

A limit to protest action

Greece is being put to one of the greatest tests of its recent history and it is perfectly natural to see a certain degree of opposition to the austerity measures announced last week by the government in its bid to avert the bankruptcy of the national economy. Strikes, protests and marches are, after all, an integral part of the democratic process; the right of every citizen. However, as a society we need to draw a line, to understand where protest action goes too far and when such action begins crossing the line of legality. Some of the incidents we have seen over the past few days, and will doubtless see repeated in the difficult days to come, show us that there are groups and individuals who believe no limits should be placed on protest action, that violence is allowed in the context of protesting. If we let such people continue unhindered, it is the country as a whole that will suffer most. The harm done to its international image, the economy and tourism industry can be immeasurable. And the responsibility for putting a stop to this violence belongs to all of us.