Athens mayor, public order minister sign crime-cracking pact

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis admitted on Thursday that he was surprised at his re-election on Sunday, explaining that he thought the level of crime in the city center would count against him.

Kaminis narrowly beat SYRIZA’s candidate, Gavriil Sakellaridis, to secure a second term but as he signed a memorandum of understanding between the City of Athens and the police, he admitted that he feared he would lose.

“Conditions one year on from when the municipal police force was disbanded are disappointing and, given this situation, I am surprised I was re-elected,” he said.

The municipal police was scrapped last summer as the government rushed to meet the troika’s labor mobility targets. But now the local authority is going to cooperate directly with the police to tackle crime.

Kaminis said the City of Athens would provide the police with buildings, vehicles and equipment to use. In return, the police will tackle specific crimes, such as street hawking, according to a plan agreed with the municipality.