Greek Justice Ministry under Fire for Reduced Sentences Plan

FILE - A molotov cocktail explodes next to Greek riot police during clashes after a rally in Athens, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS (AP) — Greece’s Justice Ministry has angered opposition parties and officials in the governing Syriza party by proposing criminal law changes that would reduce sentences for some serious offenses.

The main opposition New Democracy party deplored the lower penalty for making and throwing gasoline bombs, which anarchist and far-left demonstrators often use against police officers.

The party said Wednesday the proposed changes would encourage use of Molotov cocktails and also criticized the ministry’s proposed softening of the sentence for heading a criminal organization.

Leaders of Greece’s Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party are on trial on that charge, in connection with the 2013 slaying of a left-wing musician.

Syriza’s youth branch opposed the proposed penalty for leading a criminal organization, as well as a separate proposal that would make rape convictions more difficult.