Greece: Letter of 41-year-old comrade Evangelos ‘Vaggelis’ Koutsibelas from Trikala prisons

Trikala prisons’ correctional facility

Who said that prisoners eat for free, who said that prisoners do not provide to the State? Who said that multinational companies, employees and suppliers do not play a game at the expense of prisoners?

In Trikala prisons, the alleged correctional facility has set up the game with the multinationals very well. The so-called bakaliko, a grocery store which is operated by the big supermarket chain Veropoulos, is nothing more than a big scam. There are 718 inmates who make purchases at the prisons’ grocery store, spending 15 euros per two, a turnover estimated at 10,770 euros. That’s how much the State gets from cigarettes and other items when the tax is 23%.

During the Easter holidays, social workers, physicians, or generally any service that should be available to prisoners, were all absent.

There are 20 cells of three individuals (60 prisoners) in each wing, and since there are no prison meals on Sunday afternoons everyone has to cook for themselves, but they don’t have enough time for that, because cell doors are locked at 8pm.

Profit is the only thing you care about on the outside as protectors of democracy, who have made the prisons warehouses for human beings.

You are talking about profits and losses; we are talking about human lives.

You say that all necessary measures have been taken in prisons, but it never occurred to you that they’re inhumane for prisoners.

When Veropoulos’ commercials say ‘for purchases of 70 euros or more, get a box of beers’ and ‘for purchases of 150 euros or more, get a 5litre box of wine’, or in cleaning supplies, for example, ‘buy one shampoo and get a smaller one for free’, everybody is wondering where does all this stuff go —certainly, not to the prisoners.

On Easter Sunday (15/4) a fierce fight broke out during cooking; as a result three prison inmates were injured, one of whom was seriously wounded.

Vaggelis Koutsibelas
held in the 4th wing of Trikala prisons