Theft is a crime, nothing else

A group of hooded youths yesterday attacked and looted an optical store in the very heart of Athens. This attack shows that the supposed revolution of the hoodies, the masked youths who frequently appear to do as they please in parts of the city center, is but a manifestation of criminal activity. At the same time, the raid in broad daylight dramatically underscores that police patrols are almost nonexistent – even in the center of the Greek capital. No passers-by, let alone shopkeepers, can feel safe when masked hoodlums roam the streets of Athens unchecked. Nor can people feel safe when these criminals so easily find refuge in university grounds, which are currently a no-go area for Greek policemen because of the legislation on asylum. The conservative government of Costas Karamanlis, the opposition parties and the so-called social partners must take a clear stand on the issue. If they fail to do so, they will allow organized crime to take over Athens and the rest of the country.

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