Police test new laws regulating labor protests


The Hellenic Police (ELAS) recently simulated a standoff with protesters designed to provide insight into new laws regulating demonstrations.

The role-play exercise simulated a labor protest by 400 demonstrators in the center of Athens and involved 45 officers. 

Organizers tested various scenarios, including one involving the escalation of tension as demonstrators gradually took over all the traffic lanes on Stadiou Avenue instead of the two designated to them by authorities. 

The exercises, which were held at the Security Research Center (KEMEA) on Mesogeion Avenue, were attended by five of the 30 liaison officers who will, according to the new provisions, mediate between demonstrators and the police. 

Officers also attended seminars by veteran ELAS negotiators, psychologists and sociologists. Their training was based on tactics used by their French, German and Swedish counterparts. 

The opposition has accused the conservative administration of introducing the measures to allow heavy-handed policing.