This country has paid a bloody toll for violence – from Grigoris Lambrakis and Sotiris Petroulas in the 1960’s, to 17 N terror victims Pavlos Bakoyannis and Thanos Axarlian, and the three Marfin Bank employees who burned to death during a protest.

That bloody toll, which is the most unjust and inhuman toll, is the sole reason that the condemnation of violence must be unanimous, crystal clear, and non-negotiable. It must be a condemnation with no ifs, ands, or buts.

It is impermissible for political leaders to avoid condemning violence, threats, and thuggish behaviour, or to do so only after being asked to.

It is undemocratic for them to separate violence into good and bad, right-wing and left-wing, more or less, or our and their violence.

There is only one type of violence, and it is reprehensible, wherever it may come from.

That message must be sent by the entire political system, to all those who with violent acts attempt to deprive us of freedom of speech, or to terrorise democratic institutions such as the judiciary, when they are carrying out their duties.

Protecting society from violence is the par excellence duty of the government. That protection cannot be the privilege of only the government itself.

One cannot have government members being protected by riot police and police buses, while they leave other institutions to the mercy of violence. If nothing else, that is mandated by a modicum of political honour.