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Politics

Chrisochoidis on Public Gatherings: You Can’t Do Politics with Lies

January 21, 2021

"Those who spread fake and unacceptable news must understand that you can't do politics with lies," stated Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis on Thursday, during an online press conference on the police plan for managing public gatherings and protests. Chrisochoidis was answering a question regarding the opposition parties' claims regarding armouries to be set up in universities to store weapons for the use of a planned university police force.

"Whether lies or speculations, it amounts to the same thing. That there is no basis for these things and they are not the case," Chrisochoidis said.

"I repeat once again: the university police will not carry fire-arms, everything else is fodder for bad, very bad opposition".

Reporters covering protest rallies will have designated positions assigned by the police, as well as a police liaison, according to the new police operational plans for managing demonstrations added Michalis Chrisochoidis.

Other changes will include an interactive platform operating through the taxisnet system for rally organisers to provide information and use of "high-volume" megaphones that police will use to warn organisers and protestors if the protest is infiltrated by "outside" elements, or to suggest escape routes if the police decide to break up a demonstration using water cannons or tear gas.

According to Chrisochoidis, the "designated area" for journalists and photojournalists is designed to protect their safety, while they will also have the option of wearing visible protective gear. He denied that this would impede their access to the events taking place, saying: "Absolutely not. On the contrary, at difficult moments, in difficult situations, we want to ensure a space for reporters, photographers, representatives of the media, so that they can cover the events."

Regarding the electronic platform, he said that rally organisers will be able to notify the police and port authorities of their intention to organise a public gathering by personally entering the system using their individual taxisnet codes.

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