Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos Tuesday set out his priorities for his new term, pledging to forge ahead with controversial policies to decongest Greece’s overcrowded prisons and to intensify a crackdown on corruption.
Addressing Parliament during the debate on the new government’s policy program, Paraskevopoulos deflected criticism about a bill he passed under the previous government which permits seriously disabled prisoners to serve the rest of their terms under house arrest.
Paraskevopoulos defended the bill as serving the dual purpose of decongesting prisons and offering a humane alternative to seriously ill inmates. He said he would declare additional measures, without elaborating, though he anticipated more protests “from individuals and organized interests.”
The minister also said he would draft a bill foreseeing the induction of certain convicts who are addicted to drugs into rehabilitation programs, depending on the severity of their crimes. He also heralded a series of new steps to crack down on corruption and tax evasion.