Greek Lawmakers at Odds over Plan to Curb Protests


(Photo by Eurokinissi)

ATHENS — Lawmakers in Greece are debating plans by the country’s center-right government to curb public protests amid a heated political debate and demonstrations organized by left-wing opponents.

The draft law, due to be voted on Thursday, would make protest organizers legally responsible for damage caused during street rallies. It would also allow the prosecution of protesters who attend rallies that have not been approved by the police.

The government says the changes are aimed at preventing numerous small rallies that frequently block or disrupt traffic, but opponents say the measures go too far and could stifle public dissent.

The government was forced to make late changes to the bill, lowering the liability of protest organizers, after parliament’s legislative review committee said some items in the draft law were legally problematic.

Labor unions have planned demonstrations outside parliament Thursday during the final stages of the debate.