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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUValues'Human Bridge or Chaos? 2 opposed Victims of Terrrorism New MEPs Kuneva+Fountoulis to ERFRA

EUValues'Human Bridge or Chaos? 2 opposed Victims of Terrrorism New MEPs Kuneva+Fountoulis to ERFRA

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Can a Human Bridge be built, on the basis of some elementary EU Values, between diametrically Opposed MEPs, even from the sharply Opposed Rightist and Leftist parts of the Political spectrum, exceptionaly present in the New, Post-May 2014 EU Parliament, when they are both Tragic Victims of Brutal and particularly Inhuman, bestial Terrorism, in a Country whose poorest People have notoriously suffered a lot recently, such as Greece a.o. ?

"EuroFora" tried to find an Answer, by asking two key New MEPs who have both faced recently in their Personal Lives such Exceptionaly Hard Tragedies: 


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MEP Kostandinka Kuneva, a Lady from Northern Bulgaria, who studied History at the Southern "Cyril and Methodius" University, before coming to Greece where she was obliged to work as a simple Cleaner, until she got involved in Trade Unions' Movements for Poor Workers' Rights, and was Brutaly Aggressed by a  Band of Terrorists who threw Vitriol on her Face, obliged her to swallow it, and abandoned her at a road after beating her with cowardly violence, resulting in a series of heavy Hospital Operations and disfigurig her for life. After several International Human Rights' Organizations , including "Amnesty", pleaded her case, and at least a Civil Court vindicated her vis a vis her former employer, a semi-Public body, Kuneva was elected MEP for the 1st time in May 2014 EU Parliament's Elections in a list of Leftist "Syriza" party.


MEP Lambros Fountoulis is Father of Georges, a young man who was obliged to do various Hard Jobs in order to gain a living and help his Family during the huge Unemployment which hit Greece since 2010-2011, who was brutaly Murdered, together with his Friend, Manolis Capelonis, while a 3rd Youngster was seriously Wounded, by many Gun Shots fired at cold-blood by two Armed and Masked Terrorists against the Defenseless and Peaceful Youngsters who were welcoming guests to a Public Political Meeting in an Athens' suburb. The Cowardly Sadism of the Murderer went so far that he repeatedly Fired at the Head of his Victims, even fallen down, and shot right at the front Georges Fountoulis who dared stand up,  cover his friends with his body, and look at the Killer right at his eyes, (according to Films published even by the Police). The Victims' Father decided to enter Politics for the 1st time in his life, and was elected MEP in a list by controversial Nationalist Rightist party "Golden Dawn", against which Kuneva's Leftist "Syriza" is strongly opposed.

murders_of_fountoulis__capelonis_and_wounding_of_gerontas


"EuroFora" raised a Question about MEP Kuneva to Fountoulis, and about MEP Fountoulis to Kuneva, criss-crossing the replies of two Persons who have both Suffered a lot from particularly Brutal Terrorism, and found themselves Together, inside the New, post-May 2014 EU Parliament, even if in 2 totaly Different and diametricaly Opposed Parties, one Leftist and another Rightist, generaly engaged in a Hard InFight between them back in Greece..


>>> Could Human feelings, in front of grave Sufferings by exceptionaly Tragic Dramas provoked by Brutal Terrorsists, as well as their simultaneous entry in EU Parliament's polyphonic Democracy, usually proud to claim itself of supporting "European Values", including elementary Human Rights, perhaps, succeed, at one moment or another, to built at least a kind of "Bridge" over the huge and apparently irreconciliable Gap which uses to Separate and sharply Oppose their competing Political Parties ? In other words, could EU Parliament's context facilitate at least an elementary Human Solidarity between Victims of Horrible Terrorism, in the name of some "EU Values" in a Europe of their Dreams and/or claims for the Future ?


"EuroFora", in front of such exceptionaly Dramatic cases in the Post-May 2014 New EU Parliament, dared try to test in real practice that Hypothesis, by simply inviting each one of those so Different Victims of Brutal and particularly Inhuman Terrorism, to express their feelings and views for the other, by raising similar Questions to both, on the occasion of 2 separate Press Conferences of their respective parties during EU Parliament's two Plenary Sessions in Strasbourg this July 2014.


Here are the full results :


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MEP Kuneva :
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 - "From an exclusively Human point of view, regardless of Politics, You know that here, in this EU Parliament, (as issued after the May 2014 EU Elections), despite Big Political Differences, you  have also near you, the Father of a youngster brutaly Murdered by two armed Terrorists, (MEP Fountoulis, of "Golden Dawn"), and Mrs Kuneva, (of "Syriza"), who was atrociously aggressed and gravely wounded by other Terrorists, earlier. Do you think that these Facts should help basic Human Values go beyond petty politics, in a New Europe ?", "EuroFora" asked at the "Syriza"'s 6 MEPs' 1st Press Conference.

agg_at_syriza_1st_press_conf._400 

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    The chairing "Syriza"'s MEP, the famous Manolis Glezos, (known for having taken the NAZI flag away from Acropolis during the 2nd World War Foreign Military Occupation of Athens, prefered to give the speach Exclusively to Kuneva herself, on this point, (Comp. Glezos' other various statements to "EuroFora" in Different NewsReports) :

 

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 - "I believe that all Condemn any form of Violence which exists in the Society", MEP Kuneva clearly stressed from the Start, as a matter of Principle, in her Reply to "EuroFora"s Question.


+ Moreover, "we must make very much attention to the Examples that we give in front of our  Society", she added.


 - "Since it's because of such examples that this kind of incidents take place", she pointed out.


 - "F.ex. if noone has stolen, noone has killed, nobody lied, then (probably) nobody would repeat something like that" ["then, such things won't be repeated by anyone"), Kuneva argued.

mep_kuneva_reply_to_agg_qust__400


  - "That's what happened also with me : If nobody hadn't ever agressed any other Human being in a given Society, then, there wouldn't be any explanation for a youngster to attack another Human being", as she said.


- "When a Mother Dreams that she will give Birth to a Child, it's with a crystal-clear thought (by Honestly thinking), that she will give Birth to it, will make it a Good Man, Educated, etc. She doesn't even think that she will make out of him a Murderer, a Thief and a Liar !", she speculated.

kuneva_at_h_400


- On the contrary, "it's the Society, with some (Bad) Examples, that makes them like that", MEP Kuneva denounced in conclusion, (speaking either of her Aggressors, or perhaps meaning that the spectacle of the unpunished yet atrocious brutalities against her, which wounded her seriously, might have, perhaps, motivated the armed Terrorists' attack which killed 2 and seriously wounded another one, among 3 unarmed and peaceful youngsters who were simply waiting to welcome the People who came to a Meeting of "GD", when they were suddenly Shot with Bullets at their Heads, repeatedly and mercilessly, even when they had fallen down to the ground)...  
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MEP Fountoulis :
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- "A Question on the Sidelines" of your Press Conference, "for Mr. Fountoulis :  Everybody knows that you are the Father of a Young Man who was Shot and Killed by Terrorists, (together) with other 2 (unarmed, peaceful) Persons, and that Nobody has been Found (nor Punished) until now", "EuroFora" observed, afterwards, during the 1st Press Conference of controversial Rightist Nationalist Party "Golden Dawn"s 3 MEPs in EU Parliament.

 
agg_quest_to_mep_gd_fountoulis_father_of_murdered_son_shot_and_killed_by_armed_terrorists_together_with_other_2_young_people._400
 

=> - "Sorry to ask you a Thorny Question : At the same time, in this European Parliament, where we have had also Other Victims of Terrorism, from Various Countries, f.ex., Italy, Spain, a.o., one of them, is not as Hard as your case, but it's Hard too : It's also about Greece, but a Political Opponent of your Party, it's Mrs Kuneva, who is Alive, but, as you know, she was also hardly hit by some other Terrorists, and has Atrociously Suffered. As a matter of Principle, since I asked her for you, I'm also asking you for her, i.e. for Both : What are your Feelings about both these two cases, and the Future ?".


------------------------------

mep_fountoulis_reply_to_aggs_questions_on_kuneva_and_his_own_murdered_son_400


- "I'd better speak first, as Father of (Murdered) Georges Fountoulis : It's Unacceptable to have Young People Murdered Cowardly, just for their Beliefs only. It must not  be allowed, at any case, for Hate-Speech of ...Political Opponents to Arm the Hands of Terrorists, so that they go on in such acts" (as the cold-blood Murders of 2 unarmed, peaceful Young People, and the serious Wounding of a 3rd one, by Gun-Shots).


- "It's also Unacceptable for the Police of the Country to have practically Closed that File, and Not even Search to Find the Murderers", as the Father of the Killed Young Man complained. - "Some among our Political Opponents might even have been Glad because two "Golden Dawn" members were murdered", he wondered.


 - "As for the case of Mrs Kuneva, we had Solidarity : But those issues of Terrorism were Different : They (the Aggressors) tried to Harm her, in an attempt to Terrorise her, in order to Stop Defending the Working Rights in the area of her work, via the Trade Unions Movement. Whoever might havedone that, I believe that they must by Found and Punished", he firmly stressed for his Political Opponent's Human Drama. "But, unfortunately, in this case too, it doesn't seem to be a real Search going on in order to Find those Responsible" for the atrocious Terrorist aggression, Fountoulis criticized on behalf of Kuneva.

mep_fountoulis_reply_to_agg_quest__400


- "We are against any kind of Brutal Violence. Policies are faced with Arguments on a Political level. Whoever might attempt to do Justice by himself (Taking the Law into one's Hands) is Condemned by all of us", New MEP Fountoulis stressed, as a matter of general principle, in conclusion.


+ "I'd simply add, that, Ideologically, we are against Violence, from whatever it might come from", went on to say his collegue, also New MEP, General Epitideios, a former Senior Army Officer who has reportedly served also as Head of a European body in the Past.  - "We Condemn that, as we Condemn also what has happened against Mrs Kuneva, (his Political Competitor, from an Opposed Party), and we understand, as Human beings, also her own Pain, as also the Pain of our own Friends who have gone", Killed by Terrorists' armed aggression.

mep_epitideios_reply_to_agg_quest_on_fountoulis__kuneva_terrorism_400


- "And we want to believe that the Government (of Greece) will turn itself against the Real Culprits (Criminals), and won't focus all Prosecuting Authorities against our Party, Golden Dawn, but against those who abused of acts of Deadly Violence, in order to find those Responsible for Both Cases" of Terrorist Attacks, (i.e. both for Killing Fountoulis' Son and and for Torturing and Disfiguring Kuneva), "and bring them to Justice", he concluded.


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The atrocious aggression against Kuneva took place almost at the Begining of the Economic and Financial Crisis, at the end of  December 2008. The Brutal Armed Killing of 2 peaceful Youngsters, including Fountoulis' son, took place shortly after the culmination of the Crisis in Greece, on the 1st November 2013, (i.e. less than 5 years later).


But, in fact, they are much more Close to eachother, as simple Human beings in Todays' Society, than anyone abusing of old, ersatz, outpassed views might imagine...


However, it's not yet sure if all People standing really near to both Victims of those recent Tragedies will succeed to find soon enough  the Real Contradiction in that Society (to take Kuneva's wording), that we had all lost...


If World-famous Film-maker Angelopoulos had not been Brutally killed, his Head crushed by a Motorbike driver in Elefsina (at another non-elucidated recent Tragedy of our present Times, by a coincidence near the Mythic area of "Elefsinian Mysteries" in Ancient Greece), on early 2012, while he was working to create his New Film about the unprecedented Popular Uprisings against the former PASOK Governments (notoriously Bureaucratic, Clientelist, Nepotist and often Oppressive, main responsible for the Huge Debt provoked during the last 30 Years : 1980-2010+), particularly during June - October 2011, then, he would have certainly found a way to picture Kuneva's and Fountoulis' personal Human Tragedies together, in one way or another....

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herzig_when_an_ocean_sits_right_between_us_.._400


- "When an Ocean, sits right between us", "there is no sign we'll ever cross".  But, "Even if your are Drowning in the Valley of Echoes", ...

song_herzig_i_hurt_too_400

=> " ... I believe there is Peace in those Hills UP Ahead. You willl Climb, until you Find places you'll never let go, and I will also be here, Praying, ...",  sang symbolically the superbe Katie Herzig in her tragic but poetic song  :  - "I .. Hurt too",...

 

(../..)

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***

(NDLR : It goes without saying that "EuroFora" does Not share many among the Political Views expressed by those 2 Opposed Parties too which belong MEPs Kuneva and Fountoulis. It's their undeniably Dramatic Human Figures, in the middle of a Nowadays Society hardly hit by the Crisis aggravated by a State Nepotism of the Past, which motivated this Exceptional NewsReport, as well as the Question what EU Parliament's Values might eventually bring to People like those 2 Tragic Victims of particularly Inhuman and Brutal Terrorism, at least in a Better Future for all Europeans).

***

 

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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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