MPs debate proposed changes to prison law

A parliamentary committee began debating amid disagreements on Monday a government bill that foresees the scrapping of maximum security jails.

New Democracy’s former Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias described the draft law, which would also allow the early release of heavily disabled prisoners, as “favouritism towards terrorists.” PASOK also accused the government of being influenced by the climate created be recent sit-ins.

One of the inmates who could benefit from the proposed law is November 17 member Savvas Xeros, who is suffering from long-term health problems.

Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis accused Kikilias of trying to cultivate an “atmosphere of fear and division.” Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said it is vital that steps are taken to ease the overcrowding in Greek jails, adding that some inmates are kept in inhuman conditions.

Coalition partner Independent Greeks said they would back the bill in principle but would express objections to some specific points.

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