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24.11.04: Crusade against bearing fire-arms

The Minister and the little victim
Mikis Theodorakis has agreed to the challenge to persuade his fellow Cretans to abandon their gun culture.

Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis — a Cretan himself — announced yesterday that Theodorakis has accepted his invitation to lead an anti-gun campaign on the island.

Mr Voulgarakis made the announcement following a meeting in Iraklion with a nine-year-old boy who was seriously injured in a gun accident in October. The youngster had written to the minister to urge a crackdown on illegal firearms possession.

On this occasion, Mikis Theodorakis has issued the following statement:


For us Cretans, weapons symbolize the fights of our ancestors for the freedom of Crete.

Cretans have poured rivers of blood for their independence and the freedom of Greece. Sacrificing their bodies, they rose up against the conquerors. When they were unarmed in front of the German parachutists, they fought with teeth and nails, paying an expensive price for their disproportionate audacity.

These memories are sacred and we have to safeguarded them with the arm-symbols of these heroic fights like the pupil of the eye and not degrade them by useless blows of rifle at marriages and during the feasts.

For these reasons, I said immediately yes to the proposal made yesterday to me by the Minister for Law and Order, Mr Voulgarakis, to be at the head of an effort in which will take part the representatives of the intellectual world of Crete and which objective is the creation of a collective conscience corresponding to the request to suppress this sad and now obsolete custom of wearing weapons, on the initiative of the people of Crete itself.

I appeal to stop considering fire-arms as banal: this blackens the honour of our beloved Crete in front of the world and also with regard to us.

Athens 24.11.2004

Mikis Theodorakis

- Englisdh translation: Guy Wagner

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