Sunday, July 28, 2013

Greece: Update--Mass Mêlée Prompts Cretans to Reevaluate Riotous Britons

According to The Guardian,  the mass mêlée that occurred on July 23 outside of a bar in Malia, have prompted Cretan islanders to seriously reevaluate whether such hooliganism and death is worth continuing to offer Britons a "welcome" mat.

The Guardian interviewed Professor Manolis Michalodimitrakis, Crete's chief forensic pathologist, who himself was trained in Detroit in the 1980s, who increasingly has seen out-of-control, intoxicated British youths giving his island home a bad name.

On Thursday (July 25), Professor Michalodimitrakis had to face the mother of Tyrell Matthews-Burton, a moment that he described as "sacred," considering that few parents are forced to bury their offspring.

During what could only be described as a riot, Tyrell was celebrating his 19th birthday, only to return home in the cargo compartment of an airliner.

To make matters worse, Professor Michalodimitrakis report revealed that there was no evidence of defensive wounds on the part of Tyrell, suggesting he was the victim of an execution. 

COMMENT: Tragically, it took Cretans two days to scrub the pavement clean of blood. 

All week, local media has been preoccupied on the killing. Television cameras have been trained firmly on the island's courthouse, where three British teenagers have been charged in connection with the crime.

For the first time in living memory, guards patrolled not only the sandstone building in the heart of Heraklion, Crete's Venetian-walled capital, but paced its dark corridors, with guns at the ready, forcibly keeping friends of the victim and friends of the alleged perpetrators apart.

"It's never other nationalities, only the British, and in Crete it's only in Malia," said Professor Michalodimitrakis to THE GUARDIAN.

The sad part is that senior Britons are rewarded with honors for their loyalty when they have visited Crete after 20 years, yet punishing the serene and law-abiding Britons would only result in Crete losing the very type of foreign tourists they covet. 

Unfortunately, during the summer some 20,000 youngsters stream down Malia's main street, frequently so intoxicated they have no recollection of where they are. Worse, local bars and clubs serve mind-bending drinks, only escalating the situation. Additionally, many young Britons literally go wild on their visit abroad without parental oversight.

Although Malia's city fathers are inclined to set up youth-only sections of town permitting largely intoxicated Britons to do whatever they want, that is hardly an answer, as there will still be lewd, out-of-control behavior that violates local cultural mores.

Alternatively, the city of Malia should enact a wide-sweeping ordinance on public intoxication that includes a written public policy that stipulates an appropriate blood alcohol level that permits police to arrest those who exceed that level. 

Further, police should be authorized to arrest and detain the intoxicated overnight. 

Moreover, breathalyzers should be employed to measure blood alcohol levels and police should also be authorized to shut bars and clubs down that don't adhere to public policy.