President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has strongly condemned Thursday’s protests outside the House of Representatives over its decision to end funding to activities commemorating EOKA leader Georgios Grivas.
Protesters also vandalized the Socialist party EDEK’s offices, with the party’s leader rushing to the headquarters and stating no one will silence his party.
In a message on Twitter, Anastasiades, who is in Spain to take part in the EUMED9 summit, said “I condemn, in the strongest way possible, the unacceptable events that took place earlier today (Thursday).”
He said, “extreme attitudes are neither allowed nor contribute to unity required in a country which is under occupation”.
The demonstrators were reacting to a House resolution that described Georgios Grivas Digenis as “unworthy of every honor by the country”.
A press release issued by the Georgios Grivas Digenis Foundation, earlier in the day called for a "rally of Greek women and Greeks of Cyprus" and said "we invite you to join us against the intentions of the discord parties "AKEL-DIKO-EDEK-DIPA". Protesters chanted abusive remarks against members of Parliament while the Police had to block the road outside the House and set up barricades.
Annita Demetriou, acting President of the Republic and President of the House of Representatives, expressed regret and shame over the events outside the Parliament and at EDEK.
In a post on Twitter, she said the manifestation of all forms of violence, including the vandalism at the House and EDEK’s offices, is the greatest form of insult to democracy and a flagrant violation of democratic principles and values.
The majority of political parties condemned the protests and abusive slogans and called for unity. They also condemned the vandalism of the EDEK offices.
EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos said the party’s headquarters became the target of a premeditated and planned action. Protesters attempted to set fire to the party’s offices after smashing the glass door and throwing a flare inside.
EDEK remains calm and will not react in a way that is irritated or outside the framework of democratic behavior, he added.
Sizopoulos sent a message that under no circumstances will EDEK lower the flag of struggle or change its positions.