When I first came to Greece I witnessed a scene that looked like taken from a CSI New York episode, a real life police chase in the center of the city. A guy, that must have been a small time crook or a thief really gave policeman a run for their money. They finally cough up with him, tested a little bit the resistance of his liver with a punch or two and arrested him.
If someone would have made me run after him for 20 minutes I would have probably gave him also a piece..of my mind but than again that is the reason I never became a cop. When you are a cop you need to follow rules and have an impeccable behavior or at least this is how I see things.
From that moment on my idea of the Greek police was that they are efficient but brutal and over all not to be messed with. Not that I would have had any plans of doing so.
When demonstrations started last June I didn't know I was going to change my opinion radically.
While they might look very intimidating in their blue uniforms, be very good at cutting tickets and have spectacular sprints they are not so good at dealing with riots. To tell you the truth I really wonder why because they should have had enough training by now considering how many demonstrations Greece saw in the last years. They should be experts by now.
As in any other country, demonstrations here have their instigators and even if most of the people are peaceful it's enough a hand full violent demonstrators to start the conflict with the police. What should happen next is for the police to protect the peaceful demonstrators and keep them out of harms way while they go after the bad guys.
What actually happens is that the police can't even defend their own not to mention the peaceful demonstrators. I remembered seeing this movie made last year in June and I think you'll understand what I mean. It's for the first time in my life to see rioter throwing tear gas at the policeman and the policeman responding by throwing stones. In Greece this is pretty standard from what I noticed.
By contrast I found this other movie with riot police techniques. See if you can spot any differences. :)