ATHENS – While visiting London, Greek Alternate Minister for Citizens Protection Nikos Toskas said he wants the Hellenic Police to recruit foreigners living in Greece, just as Scotland Yard does in England.
“We are obliged to examine such approaches so as to maintain order in the best possible way,” Toskas stated according to a report in Ta Nea newspaper on Feb. 9.
“It is funny that a police officer who does not speak the language of a group of immigrants or of a minority should try to approach them. We will have to adapt to reality and avoid having any inhibitions based on what we used to think 50 years ago,” the minister said.
Greece has more than 64,000 refugees and immigrants in detention centers and camps, including some 15,000 on islands where they were sent by human traffickers in Turkey, after fleeing civil war and strife in the Middle East and other countries.
There are also untold thousands of others, many living in the country unlawfully, who congregate in Athens’ neighborhoods, hiding from the police after roundups under an earlier government overseen by the New Democracy Conservatives tried to root them out and deport them before the anti-nationalist Radical Left SYRIZA took over in 2015.
Toskas said that, “We have to adjust rapidly. For this purpose we will make all legislative interventions necessary. We already have in the police corps Greeks from Albania. In the same fashion we can recruit people from other social groups too. Some issues require an immediate modernization,” Toskas stated.