NEWS

Samaras turns to law and order as vote winner

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras turned his focus on the campaign trail on Tuesday toward law and order issues and will continue to tap into this theme this week as the conservatives believe it could help them win the June 17 elections.

?Citizens? safety is a precondition for any democracy,? said Samaras. ?There is no city, in other words an organized society, if it cannot guarantee the security of its people, in other words its citizens,? said Samaras as he linked illegal immigration and criminal activity to the economy through issues such as the black market and illegal street trading.

?So, if we want growth, if we really want to attract investment, to create jobs, to ensure there are opportunities in this country and a future for all, especially young people, then we have to take security seriously.?

Samaras then set out a 12-point plan to increase citizens? security. His proposals included a change in legislation to make it more straightforward to arrest and convict criminals, the reintroduction of neighborhood policemen, to strengthen units that fight organized crime, to target low-level crime, to improve border patrols, to create reception centers for illegal immigrants, to work with other southern members of the European Union to push for a united policy on political asylum and repatriations, and to strike at illegal trading.

In terms of changes to legislation, Samaras proposed tougher rules against violence at street protests. This included the use of CCTV cameras and water cannons. He also suggested that more foreign inmates who are serving time in Greek jails should be repatriated.

Samaras is due to hold a televised news conference on Wednesday before heading to Thessaloniki Thursday.

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