Tsipras, Mitsotakis clash in Parliament over spike in crime

Tsipras, Mitsotakis clash in Parliament over spike in crime

Conservative New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday lashed out at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a debate in Parliament, blaming his leftist-led coalition for a spike in crime in the capital.

"There is a wild situation of violence and lawlessness, the result of your policies," Mitsotakis declared.

"The problem has arisen because the government does not allow the police to do its job," Mitsotakis told the House.

Tsipras, for his part, accused Mitsotakis of adopting a "far-right rhetoric of fear," saying he was reluctant to accept the fact that "the country is finding its way again."

The premier reeled off a series of statistics, indicating that crime has dropped since his government came to power in January 2015.

The ND leader insisted otherwise, accusing the government's justice minister, Nikos Paraskevopoulos of "opening the doors of the prisons" to 2,000 convicts as part of a reform that had been intended to decongest Greek penitentiaries.

He also accused the government of creating a climate that allowed a letter bomb to be sent to former prime minister Lucas Papademos in May.

As for the arrest last week of a 29-year-old charged with sending the bomb to Papademos, and several other devices to top European officials, Mitsotakis said that was a success of the Greek Police, not the government.

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