Police to review VIP protection

Once the September 17-28 Paralympic Games are safely over, the government plans to overhaul the list of politicians, businessmen, celebrity journalists and others who have been accorded special police protection, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Following the paper’s publication of a confidential list showing whom the estimated 1,800 officers are protecting, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis asked Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis to reform the police bodyguard system, the government source said. The process is expected to take three or four months. According to a Public Order Ministry source, only a 10th of the people on the list – which includes former PM Andreas Papandreou’s widow and daughter, as well as businessmen and over a dozen celebrity journalists – truly merit police protection. «We know that 90 percent have no real [security] problem, and there is no need for their protection,» the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He added that, out of all the people accorded special police protection, only some 60 percent are mentioned on the official list.

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