If I believed, even in my wildest dreams, that there might arrive a day that the building standing in the corner of Patision St. and Skaramagka St., which belongs to the Sailors’ Pension Funds (SPF), might ever be rent, and the money gained used for the Sailors’ pensions, I might face some doubts. Of course, I would never agree on the Riot Police invasion. But I would, indeed, agree on the SPF Board engaging in a discussion with the occupants and make them understand that this Pension Fund is in favor of the seaworkers, who are spending years and years away from home and their families.
But, now, I completely disagree.
The SPF’s President, mr. Christos Fotiou, who spoke to us a while ago, explains that the building will be exploited in favor of the sailors and the SPF, but we don’t believe that.
Not because we don’t have confidence to his sayings.
But because we place no trust neither to the Athens’ Mayor, who is asking for the building, nor to the despicable government of the New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left. Full stop.
ANYWAY IT’S BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE 2009, under the governments of New Democracy and PASOK, that the building was not RECLAIMED.
Mr. Fotiou explained to us that the building is under occupation since 2009, and the SPF has initiated legal procedures against the squat. He added that the squatters visited his office last October and their behavior was very …“totalitarian”, incomparable even to his previous experiences in the anti-dictatorship struggle and during the exile years.
Mr. Fotiou underlined that he received an official document, yesterday, from the Athens Municipality, mentioning: “They are asking us to hand them over the building, and they will take care of the repairs needed, as the building has been severely damaged due to the earthquake, wide repair works are required. They want to deduct the sum they’ll spend for repairs from the rent, and once this sum is paid off, they’ll start paying rent to the SPF. This is a building which belongs to the pensioner sailors and the money should go to their fund. I, personally, have already rented out 4 buildings [of the SPF], which were previously empty. And I risk being accused for non-responsiveness and misconduct. ”.
He also mentioned that he personally spoke to the Police Chief of Piraeus, and asked him to do what needs to be done, as a lawsuit has already been filed.
That’s how we arrived to today’s invasion in the building and the arrest of 7 people.
What’s left now is to hear the opinions of the Sailors’ Unions.
Because what is legal is not necessarily moral.
And we all know exactly what are the plans of this despicable government, and the Troika, for all these buildings.
Member of the Panhellenic Journalists’ Union Board
Member of the Attica Journalists’ Union.