Minister praises police after contentious comments

Citizens? Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis has praised the police just a few days after criticizing the force and suggesting that serious changes were needed to frontline squads.

Last week, Papoutsis had been highly critical of the police following the serious injuries suffered by a demonstrator, 31-year-old Yiannis Kafkas, during an anti-austerity protest on Wednesday. However, after his comments were attacked by police unionists and opposition politicians, and after an attack on a police precinct in Exarchia, Papoutsis issued a statement supporting the force.

?The police continues to make a superhuman effort to combat crime and illegal immigration with full knowledge that it is the responsibility of all police officers to stand by citizens, with full respect for the constitution and the law,? he said.

In response to criticism from New Democracy, Papoutsis said that the previous conservative government was to blame for the state of the police due to adopting the ?wrong policies.?

Papoutsis is likely to play a key role in a Cabinet meeting on Monday that will focus on the unrest in central Athens.

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