Political, celebrity and social media reactions to the Pakistani “occupation” of Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square Pakistanis

On New Year’s Eve, a few hours after the announcement of the heavy fines for those breaching protection measures against the spread of COVID-19, hundreds of Pakistanis flooded Syntagma Square in central Athens.

Pakistanis for the most part crowded, practically out of control, with the police virtually absent.

In videos that have been widely circulated on social media, the Pakistanis seem to enjoy their own audacity with their indifference to masks and other precautionary measures.

In fact, in one of these videos, one can hear someone addressing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Police eventually intervened and imposed several dozen fines on the gathered Pakistanis.

Subsequently, the Greek-Pakistan Cultural Association sent an open letter to the Ministry of Civil Protection, probably drawn up by a person with legal knowledge, stating that:

“As the Greek-Pakistan Cultural Association, we want to inform you that the gathering of Pakistani nationals on New Year’s Eve at Syntagma Square was spontaneous and not organised.

“We were not aware that the events of the Municipality of Athens will not take place in Syntagma Square, as every year.

“Our members, as soon as they were informed by the Police authorities, left immediately peacefully.

“We would like the Minister of Civil Protection to show leniency in the fines that were imposed, for their cancellation.

“As the Greek-Pakistan Cultural Association, we want to assure you that we act in accordance with the laws and principles of the Greek State.”

The Minister of the Interior, Takis Theodorikakos, replied that he was not going to show the leniency that the community is asking for.

However, reactions on social media to the gathering were also very strong.

Constantinos Bogdanos, the MP who was recently expelled from the ruling New Democracy Party, could be considered as a typical representative of the trend that “Greece is besieged by a herd of foreigners.”

He wrote on Twitter on New Year’s Day: “Yesterday’s picture shows: 1) The size of the invasion 2) That the invaders enjoy more rights than the natives. Whatever is forbidden to you by fine or bat, it is permissible for them without hindrance.”

“22 already shows the way: For Greece and Freedom!” the tweet added.

The singer Grigoris Petrakos also made a complaint on social media, demanding, among other things, the resignation of the government with a strange reasoning.

Petrakos commented that “if in a week the hospitals are not full of intubated Pakistanis, I would like the resignation of the commission and the government for mockery and deception.”

“Let me remind you at this point that tens of thousands of musicians were unemployed before the New Year to ‘protect’ society.

“Let me remind you that the Greeks were forbidden in the shops…

“Let me remind you that music was forbidden.

“Let me remind you that the Patras Carnival was banned for 3 years.

“Let me remind you that for 3 days the television channels were playing the news that I appeared at the funeral of the late G. Tragas ‘without a mask’.

“Let me remind you that the Greek police ‘campaigned’ during the holidays (according to channels) to catch Greeks who do not comply with the measures.

“Let me remind you that 9 people are allowed in the houses

“So I was there, in Syntagma, on New Year’s Eve. And I saw with my own eyes over 300,000 men (strictly) of all races (except the Greek) doing everything that is forbidden to us.

“It was not just Syntagma. It was Thiseio, Monastiraki, Acropolis, Omonia and all the main and side streets!

“Remind me why I’m unemployed?

“Remind me why healthcare is on hold?

“Remind me again about viral load …

“Remind me about the measurements in the sewage …”

Between Bogdanos and Petrakos, Twitter was filled with comments of all shades, as one can easily see, even from the small sampling that follows – and only among the relatively decent posts:

https://twitter.com/listapetsa/status/1478077332283871237?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1478077332283871237%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.protothema.gr%2Fgreece%2Farticle%2F1197657%2Fpakistanoi-protohronia-hamos-sto-twitter-gia-tin-pakistaniki-katalipsi-tou-sudagmatos%2F

https://twitter.com/Kitty_De_Freak/status/1478132547527839749?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1478132547527839749%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.protothema.gr%2Fgreece%2Farticle%2F1197657%2Fpakistanoi-protohronia-hamos-sto-twitter-gia-tin-pakistaniki-katalipsi-tou-sudagmatos%2F

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