Mitsotakis, Tsipras to cross swords on police violence on Friday

Mitsotakis, Tsipras to cross swords on police violence on Friday

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras will wrangle in Parliament on Friday over a recent incident of police brutality during a routine checks on compliance with Covid-19 restrictions in a suburb in Athens earlier this week.

The debate was sparked after an incident in which a police officer was accused of hitting a citizen repeatedly with a collapsible baton, without due cause, in the main square of Nea Smyrni. Footage of police beating went viral on social media, sparking public outrage. Greek Police has ordered an internal investigation over the incident, while the officer involved has been suspended.

In a rally attended by some 5,000 people to protest against police violence the next day, 10 officers were injured by protesters, one of which was seriously beaten on the head. 

Mitsotakis has accused SYRIZA of using the incident to gain votes and undermining the measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus by calling for protests, while the leftist opposition accuses the prime minister of tolerating police violence and blaming his political opponents to hide the “incompetence of his government.”

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