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After COVID-19 Mask Assault, Greece Eyes Subway Cops for Security

Αssociated Press

Commuters wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 use the escalator at Syntagma station, the busiest metro station, in central Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS - The vicious attack on a Metro station chief by two young men he told to wear masks during a COVID-19 second lockdown has led the New Democracy government to consider putting a police force on public transport.

Transport Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis said it’s been discussed with Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, said Kathimerini, but likely wouldn’t be in force until year’s end, uncertainty how long the pandemic would last.

Karamanlis spoke after an Athens prosecutor ordered a preliminary investigation into the assault on the station manager who was punched and kicked repeatedly by the two men at Omonia station and had to be hospitalized.

Police said it was a “matter of time” before they track down and arrest the two attackers as sources said their faces were recorded by the metro’s CCTV cameras and a manhunt was underway, Karamanlis saying police were on their tracks.

The administration of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has put in place a plan for unarmed cops on university campuses to keep out intruders and hold down violence on those grounds.