Athens mayor presses for less disruptive protests

The mayor of the protest-prone Greek capital is pushing for legislation to regulate demonstrations, hold organizers accountable for riot damage, and ban police from tear-gassing protesters.

Giorgos Kaminis said on average three protests or demonstrations were held in Athens last year, and even though most involved just 50-200 people, they caused mayhem as police closed main thoroughfares to motorists.

Kaminis on Monday called for small demonstrations to be contained in a single traffic lane, while organizers should pay for damage caused during protests. He said he will forward his proposals to political parties and unions.

Protests are common in Greece, but have become more frequent during the country’s acute debt crisis. Many turn violent, with rioters fighting police and vandalizing property. [AP]