The attack by a group of unknown assailants on Athens traffic police chief Giorgos Diamantopoulos in downtown Athens on Monday evening is yet another reflection of the government’s inability to secure public safety, New Democracy charged on Tuesday.
In the aftermath of the attack, when at least 10 people repeatedly punched Diamantopoulos in the face on the corner of Emmanouil Benaki and Panepistimiou streets, conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused the government of tolerating lawlessness and violence in the center of the capital.
Pledging to restore law and order, Mitsotakis accused the main, leftist party in the ruling coalition of incompetence and harboring suspicion toward the police, if not outright hostility.
Conservatives highlight the issue of public safety as a weakness of the SYRIZA-led coalition. They claim it is juggling the idea of governance with an ideologically linked contempt of authority that pervades sections of the ruling leftist party.
The administration of Alexis Tsipras has been dogged by a growing divide with party purists.
In July, the Group of 53 faction – the self-appointed guardian of SYRIZA ideology – accused Tsipras of embracing a “law and order” mentality in the wake of the forcible evacuation of anti-establishment protesters from three occupied buildings in Thessaloniki.