Shake-up of police heralded

The government yesterday heralded a shake-up of the police force, including the creation of a rapid-reaction unit to curb outbreaks of violence in the capital. «The police is reorganizing to deal with the new circumstances, including the activities of a small minority,» government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said. A press spokesman for the police said that the plan is to create 30 immediate response teams, each comprising 12 officers, who would be stationed around the center and ready to react to incidents such as last Friday’s spree of vandalism in the upmarket district of Kolonaki. These plans were the focus of talks yesterday between top police officials and Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis, who is in charge of public order, sources said. British officers are expected to advise Greek police on dealing with so-called «low-level» terrorism, such as last Friday’s Kolonaki unrest and a recent spike in violent robberies, as well as on curbing a resurgence of domestic terrorism. An officer in the Greek counterterrorism unit was suspended yesterday after the force’s internal affairs division indicated that he was allegedly behind a leak of 82 «possible terrorist targets» to the press last week. The suspect reportedly admitted to contacting the reporter who published the leak after officers said they would look at his recent telephone calls. Meanwhile in Thessaloniki around 100 self-styled anarchists occupied the administrative offices of the northern city’s Aristotle University. The sit-in, which had involved no violence by late yesterday, was held in solidarity with Constantina Kuneva, the leader of the Attica cleaners’ union who was the victim of an acid attack last December, apparently due to her unionist activities.

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