Minister signs decree to curb small demonstrations

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday signed a presidential decree aimed at preventing small-scale demonstrations from blocking major thoroughfares in big cities, an initiative opposed by unionists and the main leftist opposition SYRIZA.

The signed decree, which is to be submitted to the scrutiny of the Council of State, imposes restrictions on “particularly small” demonstrations in cities with populations in excess of 100,000, noting that such gatherings will not be permitted to obstruct major roads.

Dendias’s initiative followed meetings with the leaders of the country’s two main labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, and with Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis as well as with representatives of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Athens Traders Association. Businesses in the capital have long lobbied for action to curb protests, which have a negative impact on their trade.