Govt, ND leader again clash over ‘law and order’ issue

5 March 2019
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The “law and order” theme again emerged on the political front at the very beginning of the week, as main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis continued to step up his attack on the leftist government, this time visiting a central Athens police precinct attacked by self-styled anarchists on Saturday night with petrol bombs.

A couple of hooligan-related clashes were also reported in the working class Nikaia district, near the port of Piraeus, over the weekend.

Mitsotakis spoke with police officers at the Acropolis-area police station, including ones present during the Saturday incident, whereas he repeated that his center-right party has “absolutely no tolerance to violence, whether low intensity, or high intensity; violence must be dealt with in the same way.”

In a later response, Olga Gerovassili, who holds the public order portfolio, denied that there was a climate of illegality and tolerance of violence, referring to a “myth that’s being peddled for petty partisan reasons.”

She also stressed that Greece is considered one of the safest countries in the world, while pointing to “organized and methodical” work by Greek police and specifically to the arrest of 138 suspects over the past week in central Athens on charges of belonging to a major crime gang.

Greek authorities raided a squat in central Athens last week and arrested 138 foreign nationals on charges linked with numerous armed robberies, burglaries, assaults and drug peddling charges, among others. Another 21 suspects facing the same related charges were already jailed, while 50 suspects are wanted.

According to police, most of the arrestees – from Morocco, Algeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh – had illegally entered the country.

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