Big demo against biotech conference in Greece (20/10/2006)

Many thanks to Vassilis from Order 81 for all the following information and links.


Demo vs the EuropaBio conference in Greece

Hundreds of protesters marched on October 7th against the 3rd International Biotechnology Conference in Greece, organised by EuropaBio Hellas, the legal representatives of the EuropaBio lobby group in Greece. Several independent, anti-authoritarian and environmental-groups from all over the country had gathered to form a common front against the Greek biotech lobby pushing for corporate control and profits dressed up as scientific progress.

EuropaBio Hellas is the other name of Bionova Ltd (www.bionova.gr) a consulting company set up by a boiotech entrepreneur, which has been assigned the task of pushing the agenda of the European biotechnology industry, including issues like the introduction of GM crops into Greek agriculture, influencing the media, "knowledge transfer", patenting knowledge, and increasing corporate collaboration with the academic world.

The International Biotechnology Conference in Greece (www.igbf.gr) is a classic example of the industry's attempts to gain a hold over a national economy, its agriculture and its scientific research despite fierce public opposition. The opposition to the introduction of GM crops into Greece has enjoyed huge public support and all its municipalities have declared themselves GM-free.

It's also of note that one of the main issues presented at the conference was bio-fuels and its relation to biotechnology, revealing again the intention of the biotech industry to use this issue as a "green Trojan horse", in order to bypass the suspicions of farmers and consumers.

Reports on the real character of the biotech conference, and the counter-demonstration, appeared in the national press, focusing especially to the plethora of state sponsors of the conference, including four ministries as well as two embassies (US and Israeli). Attention was also drawn by the the speech of the Minister of Education, Ms Marietta Giannakou, whose privatisation and neo-liberal politics fired up the student movement last spring, leading to extensive faculty occupations and mass demonstrations. Her presence at the conference reinforces how the state and biotech lobbyists collaborate to undermine people's suspicions regarding genetic engineering.

The exposure of the true character of the forces pushing biotechnology in Greece lays the groundwork for resistance.


Download the video of the demonstration (in English):

Watch the video in Greek:

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Article regarding the conference and the demonstration (in Greek):

Article on biotech-indymedia (Greek and English):

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