MPs back Justice Ministry bill giving serious crimes tougher penalties


MPs on Thursday voted to approve a Justice Ministry bill amending the penal and criminal justice code to impose tougher penalties for serious crimes.

All ruling New Democracy’s 157 MPs backed the bill, as did Movement for Change (KINAL) legislator Andreas Loverdos, while his KINAL colleagues voted “present,” All other opposition parties voted against it.

The bill imposes tougher penalties for serious crimes such as rape or sexual abuse of minors, which now carry a life sentence without alternatives, while a similar heavy sentence may be imposed on any individual causing a forest fire in which at least one person is killed.

The bill also introduces measures designed to increase the protection of vulnerable social groups and crack down on sex offenders, such as extending the statute of limitation and the way they are prosecuted in order to bring Greek law in line with European conventions protecting the rights of victims.