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Athens: Army in the Streets to Combat Crime?

After the recent violent incidents in Athens downtown and polls showing Greeks tend to tolerate cases of taking the law in one’s hands, the government is seeking solutions to combat crime in the historical centre of Athens. In government circles, one consulting meeting has been following each other with lots of proposals submitted. Among the solutions to guard properties and citizens has been also to send the army in the streets, claims newspaper Proto Thema  .  The proposal has been made by aides of Prime Minister George Papandreou and a small group of governing party PASOK lawmakers.

The proposal has been apparently inspired by a similar act by Italian President Silvio Berlusconi several years ago.

Minister for Citizens’ Protection Christos Papoutsis theatened to resign should such a proposal materialize then it would “harm the profile of  progressive governance”.

Proto Thema claims that the Prime Minister seems also to oppose such suggestions as he wouldn’t want Athens to resemble Egypt amid the highest touristic season.

However the hardliners believe that the army sould give a safety message to tourists.

And what is the message to be given to the citizens? After the bloody events during the Polytechnic School Uprising in November 1973 during the Junta, Greeks consider with great suspicion and … allergy the presence of army forces in the streets.

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