Police to be freed from VIP guard duty

New legal provisions will curb the number of policemen available to guard politicians and other VIPs, freeing up hundreds of officers for active duty, Interior Ministry sources said yesterday. A presidential decree submitted to the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, stipulates the maximum number of officers that can be appointed to guard specific VIPs. To date, police chiefs have appointed guards on an ad hoc basis and without any restrictions. If the new decree is approved, some 800 officers will be relieved of these duties and available for full-time public policing, ministry sources said. The decree foresees certain quotas: 50 guards for the main opposition party leader, 20 for other party leaders, eight for ministers and one for every Attica MP. Senior judges will be assigned four officers each.

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