An armed attack against a riot police squad in downtown Athens on Monday evening rekindled the political backlash against the left-led government over its perceived failure to impose law and order, with the main opposition party announcing a series of initiatives to improve security.
Following a clash in Parliament last Friday over the issue with leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the head of the main opposition, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on Tuesday said New Democracy will be filing an amendment overturning a law for easing overcrowding introduced by the previous justice minister, Nikos Paraskevopoulos, that resulted in hundreds of inmates – many convicted for violent crimes – being granted release or extended furlough rights.
Speaking in Parliament a day after a gunman shot at two police officers in the downtown Athens neighborhood of Exarchia, the conservative chief also said the opposition will push to bring back the creation of Type C maximum security prisons – which were scrapped shortly after SYRIZA came to power – for inmates convicted of terrorism or organized crime.
Mitsotakis went on to stress the need for more police patrols in the country’s streets to prevent crime and increase a sense of security among citizens, as well as for measures against self-styled anarchist groups – responsible for dozens of attacks against purported anti-establishment symbols, some of them violent – “whom the government condemns with its words and protects with its actions.”
“I extend yet one more appeal to Mr Tsipras to assume his responsibilities,” Mitsotakis said. “His government appears not only unable but also unwilling to protect law and order in our country.”