ATHENS – It took two years, but the New Democracy government said it will amend Greece's penal code to overturn laws passed by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA which lessened penalties for serious crimes, including embezzlement.
The Leftists passed those measures in the dying days of a 4 ½-year reign that ended in an ignominious defeat in July 7, 2019 snap elections to the Conservatives who had denounced the leniency laws.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who made law and order a center piece of his campaign and rule hasn't explained why he waited to change the laws to upgrade a series of major crimes back to felonies instead of misdemeanors.
Now there will be a rush, with bills created by a special lawmaking committee in the Parliament where New Democracy has a majority, allowing the government to pass whatever laws it wants despite opposition.
The laws will be toughened for crimes including drug trafficking, robbery, murder, rape, terrorist acts, high treason, human trafficking and child abduction, as well as domestic violence and sexual abuse and bring longer prison terms and tougher conditions for release, said Kathimerini.
Crimes of juvenile delinquency and domestic violence and sexual abuse will have provisions allowing ex officio prosecution without a victim filing a complaint, putting more power in the hands of the government.