It took agitation over Golden Dawn’s blood donation campaign at three hospitals to show the self-evident: blood is donated voluntarily and free of charge and it is provided according to one single criterion: to serve those in need of it, regardless of race, religion and any other artificial or not differences.
“Blood is provided to anyone who needs it”, underlines Foteini Skopouli, deputy Minister, in a report she filed to the health services.
Deputy Minister makes explicit that every citizen is free to donate blood according to proper medical procedures. The blood given goes to anyone in need of it according to medical criteria and not national or racial ones.
Against the principles of blood donation layed down by national legislation (Laws 1820/88 and 3402/05), members of the far right organization tried on Saturdaay to donate blood “only for Greeks” at hospitals in Larisa, Panarkadiko and Samos. Their campaign was met with the reactions of doctors, workers and collective actors.
Agitation and disturbances happened at the General Hospital of Larissa. Golden Dawn, in a statement, was calling its members to donate blood, noting that it would be from “Greeks to Greeks”. This reference caused reactions on the part of antiracist organizations members of which gathered on Saturday outside the hospital.
The turmoil was evaded due to heavy police presence who kept apart protestors and members of Golden Dawn.
Tensions broke out when the party’s MP from Magnesia, Panayiotis Iliopoulos, appeared at the scene to get pelted with cups of coffee and water. After the donation was finished, the members of GD and the protestors departed under police presence.
The adminstrator of the 5th Health District (YPE), Mr. Lazaros Makris commented that the “blood donated by the members of the organization will be provided wherever the hospital deems to be necessary and without any constrictions”.
Disturbances nearly took place at the Panarkadian hospital, in Tripoli, while allegations of aggravated assault against a journalist from members of the Golden Dawn were reported. They asked him to delete the pictures in which their faces were visible. PAME denounced the assault against a jounralist who refused to erase the material he had recorded.
Members of trade unions of PAME protested outside the emergency section, denouncing as the whole campaign as racist.
The president of the medical association, G. Papastamatakis, was present and notified Goden Dawns’ representative of the current legislation.
Similar attempts in Samos. The members of the party did not manage to donate blood, as tens of citizens, representatives of associations, members of the medical association, the hospital’s staff union, the Labour Centre, and representatives of political parties demanding the cancellation of the scheduled blood donation.
[Tranlated article from ‘Ethnos’ newspaper, 29/04/2013, found online at http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=63820071]