Socialist Worker

Greek activists force minister’s resignation

by Petros Constantinou, Greek Stop the War Coalition
Issue No. 1983

Christos Markogiannakis, the Greek deputy minister for public order, was forced to resign on Tuesday of this week in the wake of the scandal over the kidnap and torture of 28 Pakistani immigrants by Greek secret services and MI6 last year.

The resignation is a victory for the Greek anti-war movement, which has championed the case of the 28 men and relentlessly exposed the lies of the Greek government and British foreign secretary Jack Straw over the issue.

The Pakistani men were abducted for questioning over the 7 July bombings in London (Tortured as MI6 watched, 7 January). An MI6 agent, Nicholas Langman, was present at the interrogation — though Straw is pretending that the British secret service was not involved.

The Greek Stop the War Coalition is now demanding the resignation of Markogiannakis’s boss, public order minister George Voulgakaris. He has admitted to organising the arrest of 5,400 immigrants in the wake of the 7 July attacks.

Stop the War in Greece is organising a major demonstration on 21 January with trade unions, left political organisations and anti-racist groups against the kidnappings. They also plan to protest against Straw, who is visiting Greece the next day.

The British government has responded to questions over MI6 involvement in the torture case by slapping gagging orders on the British press.

But the scandal has the potential to damage Blair and Straw if the anti-war movement in both countries builds up the pressure on them.

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Sat 14 Jan 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1983
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