The dismissal of Mrs Eleni Siourouni (Ελένη Σιουρούνη), director of the Hospital of Tripoli, was announced yesterday by the Ministry of Health. Previously, on the 6th of February 2013, Mrs Siourouni had welcomed the invasion of 30-35 members of Golden Dawn in the hospital of Tripoli and allowed them to proceed to a search in all hospital rooms. The invasion of the members of Golden Dawn, carrying sticks and wearing military clothes and boots, took place in the early hours of Wednesday 6th of February. The group invaded with the intention to locate and expel immigrants working as private nurses in the hospital without having the respective legal papers allowing them to stay and work in the country. According to Golden Dawn, the organisation was urged to proceed to such an action as soon as the Union of Private Nurses condemned publicly the fact that private nurses work illegally in the hospital of Tripolis. During the invasion, the members of Golden Dawn were interrogating anyone that happened to be in the patients’ chambers about their nationality and, whenever they met with immigrants, they were also asking for their ‘papers’. Finally, they violently expelled from the hospital four people that did not have or did not show their … papers.
One day after the incident, Mrs Siourouni had a joint interview with members of the Golden Dawn on ArcadiaPortal.gr [local news portal] and explained that she “had a very good cooperation with them”. “Our goals are common regarding the limiting of the problem of illegal work”, she added. However, she complained that the law does not give the hospital administration the right to check the papers and/or the legal status of immigrant private nurses.
Nevertheless, on the 8th of February Mrs Siourouni changed her story by saying that she did not allow access to the hospital to members of any organisation. After her dismissal, Eleni Siourouni claims that her words were mistaken.
Mr Dimitris Papadimoulis, representative of the SYRIZA party in the parliament, described on Tweeter the expulsion of Mrs Siourouni as “a small victory!” after the mass of protests that had been provoked.
The Communist Party (KKE) had previously charged the administrator of the Hospital of Tripoli with responsibilities about “the invasion and racist activities of the criminals of Golden Dawn”.
The Medical Association of Arcadia in an announcement they published expressed their growing concern and worry over Eleni Siourouni’s stance, pointing out that such a stance does not fit with her institutional position. The Association emphasized that the joint interview Siourouni gave with a local representative of the Golden Dawn party raises questions over the object of this “cooperation” between the two sides.
The Union of Workers in stores and companies of the area of Arcadia also condemned the action of Golden Dawn members.
‘Doctors of the World’: We deny to get scared
Golden Dawn, nevertheless, was present in another incident that concerns the country’s health area. At around midnight on Thursday 7th of February approximately 30 members of Golden Dawn protested outside the medical station of the Doctors of the World in Perama, near Athens, while about 40 poor and uninsured patients, Greeks as well as immigrants, were being treated. The Doctors of the World published an announcement afterwards condemning the protest of Golden Dawn as “aggressive and provocative” and targeting against “our patients as well as our volunteers. The Doctors of the World, loyal as they are to the principle of social solidarity and committed to the oath of Hippocrates, will continue to treat people, regardless of their race, gender and religious beliefs. We declare that we refuse to ‘get scared’ and that we will continue to defend the right to health wherever there are human beings”.
[This report constitutes a compilation based on the following articles from the Greek press:
- Ethnos newspaper, ‘“Decapitation” following the invasion and “searches” by the Golden Dawn’, 11/02/2013, found online at: http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=63780867
- Eleftherotypia newspaper, ‘Dismissal of the director of the Hospital of Tripoli after the raid of Golden Dawn members’, 10/02/2013, found online at: http://www.enet.gr/?i=news.el.ellada&id=342687
- To Vima newspaper, ‘Dismissal of the director of the Hospital of Tripoli because of the raid of Golden Dawn members’, 09/02/2013, found online at: http://www.tovima.gr/society/article/?aid=497567&wordsinarticle=%CF%84%CF%81%CE%AF%CF%80%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%B7%CF%82]