ATHENS – Greece's New Democracy government, with the country in a lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, is planning tougher legislation to deal with anarchists.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had vowed to crack down on the anti-establishment groups, especially in the neighborhood of Exarchia, were police rooted out squatters.
Before the pandemic, there were a series of pitched battles between riot police and anarchists but the Coronavirus and two lockdowns have kept people off the streets and seen violence largely abate.
That's apart from universities where a rector was recently assaulted in Athens, leading to plans to establish a police force for school grounds, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochidis told Kathimerini in an interview, who added authorities are tracking down those behind the attack.
He stressed that “the police is now accountable, it neither hides nor apologizes,” also noting that recent attacks in France and Austria showed Greece is also susceptible to terrorists, with the country having a number of those groups still operating.
New police squad set up to help manage and contain 'low-risk' public gatherings
A new team of police officers was put into action on Tuesday to enfoce the Hellenic Police measures for the Polytechnic anniversary. The new Team for the Management and Containment of Gatherings, with the acronym ODOS in Greece, which is comprised of 46 police officers in total, 28 women and 18 men, who have been trained to carry out their new duties in the best possible way.
The ODOS officers were wear a discreet uniform with the team's insignia, they are not armed and are equipped with whistles, first aid kits, walkie-talkies and flashlights.
Police said that they will be responsible for managing and containing public gatherings and demonstrations of low to medium risk and will communicate and mediate with the organisers of gatherings in order to avoid escalation and tension.