New Democracy Gets Tough on Pedophiles, Felony Convictions

FILE - Photo: Eurokinissi/Giannis Panagopoulos.

ATHENS – Lenient reforms passed by the previous ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that went easy on violent criminals, including anarchists and terrorists, will be overturned by tougher measures being prepared by the New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who said he would crack down on lawlessness.

Justice Minister Kostas Tsiaras submitted a series of amendments for the revised penal code, which is expected to go before a vote in Parliament next week, including stricter penalties for convicted pedophiles, human traffickers and those found guilty of breach of faith in public office with Greek officials being involved in repeated scandals in recent years.

The move followed demands by lawmakers from New Democracy and opposition parties for more severe treatment of offenders that critics said that SYRIZA was mollycoddling, the party being rife with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers and those who don’t want people jailed for almost any reason.

The SYRIZA laws also changed many felonies to misdemeanors and provided lighter sentences for embezzlement and corruption although former Premier Alexis Tsipras said he wouldn’t abide those offenses.

Tsiaras called on the parties to submit their final proposals by Nov. 11, the last day of committee-level talks before the bill is to go the House’s plenary, said Kathimerini.

Under Mitsotakis, police squads have also been sent into the anarchist dominated neighborhood of Exarchia to go after drug dealers and empty abandoned buildings of squatters, many of them housing unlawful migrants among others.