NEWS

Minister lashes out following threats

Citizens? Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday that he and his family had received threats following a week of political and social tensions and accusations of police violence during anti-austerity rallies last week.

The alleged threats are the latest in a string of abuse and assaults against members of ruling PASOK by citizens angered by last week?s austerity vote in Parliament.

?This is a message to the immoral, disorderly and cowardly: Hands off my wife and my child,? Papoutsis told Parliament’s transparency committee.

Earlier this week, the minister told the House that police had received information about a plan by protesters to storm Parliament during the anti-austerity vote.

?Clearly some people didn?t like what I said,? Papoutsis said.

In an apparent dig at the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which has been blamed by government officials for instigating attacks on PASOK MPs, Papoutsis called on all political parties to state outright whether they support the tactics of film director Dimitris Kollatos, who is reportedly planning a march to Papoutsis?s home on Wednesday evening. ?Are there any political groupings that do not condemn these practices?? Papoutsis said.

Kollatos is leading a movement called Porta-Porta (Door-to-Door) that has organized several protests outside the homes of politicians in recent months.

A protest march is to begin on Wednesday at 6.30 p.m. outside a church in Holargos, northern Athens, and continue to Papoutsis?s home.

In a related development, a prosecutor investigating last Wednesday?s clashes in central Athens brought charges against the police for failure to arrest armed protesters, excessive use of chemicals, causing bodily harm to citizens and violating a law banning the presence of police on university grounds.