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GREEK anti-fascist resistance fighter Manolis Glezos died today aged 97.
Famed for tearing down the swastika flag from the Acropolis with his friend Apostolos Santas at the age of 18 in 1941, Mr Glezos embarked on a lifetime of political struggle, being arrested as recently as 2012 for protesting against EU austerity measures being imposed on Greece.
Mr Glezos was sentenced to death for communist activity in 1948 during the Greek civil war, but this was commuted to life imprisonment in 1950. He was elected to parliament from prison a year later for the United Democratic Left, an organisation with close links to the then banned Communist Party. Released from jail in 1954, he was jailed again in 1958, prompting the Soviet Union to issue a stamp in his honour and award him the Lenin Peace Prize.
He later held parliamentary seats for social-democratic party Pasok in the 1980s and, from 2012, for Syriza, being elected to the European Parliament for the party in 2014 aged 91.
He later apologised to the Greek people for having trusted Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras following the Syriza-led government’s imposition of the harshest privatisation and deregulation programme in Europe, capitulating to the European Central Bank, EU and International Monetary Fund “troika.”
He then asked voters to vote for the Communist Party of Greece or Syriza breakaway Popular Unity, saying that they were the only forces opposed to the troika’s “memoranda” imposing spending cuts and sell-offs in return for bailing out Greek banks.
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