Public safety has become a top priority for this country. The kidnapping of Greek shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos at gunpoint in an Athens suburb yesterday morning underscores the alarming lack of security. After all, the incident is only the latest in a long series of deeply disconcerting events. Greece is in great need of a professional and well-organized police force that will dismantle the new terrorist groups, that will free Athens from the fear of anti-establishment youths and which will effectively tackle the new and extremely dangerous forms of crime. Most certainly, the state has an obligation to protect its citizens against these three threats. But there is no doubt that the state must also take great care to enforce the law without violating individual rights and freedoms. The police must avoid going to extremes. In addition, critics must stop their groundless charges of a «police state.» This country is mature enough to have a strong democracy and at the same time a strong state.