No-name rules cause a stink

Last week’s police decision to stop releasing the names of people arrested or charged with even minor offenses after being sued for privacy breaches has resulted in angry protests by souvlaki vendors on the main highway linking north and southern Greece. Earlier this week, Lamia police raided one of the six popular rest-stops on the Athens to Thessaloniki highway, seizing large quantities of frozen meat unsuitable for human consumption. The establishments, which combine gas station facilities with restaurants and shops, have a considerable daily turnover with long-distance bus drivers and other road travelers regularly stopping for a quick meal. But, in accordance with the force’s new, self-imposed privacy rules, although the incident was made public, police did not reveal the offending establishment’s name. So travelers now avoid all six rest-stops, prompting protests by their owners. The new police rules drew fire yesterday from local journalists’ unions in the Peloponnese, Epirus and the Aegean islands, which complained that the public was being denied essential information.

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