The Lost Sense of Security in Athens

The visitor to Athens makes a challenging arrival. It takes a couple of days to become familiar with many new things. Even if he has only been absent for a few months.

One of the shocks he feels is the loss of the sense of security he once took for granted.

He does not feel safe, even in the center of Athens. There are home invasions while attacks on both young and elderly men and women on the streets are often the subject of discussion.

The anarchists who dominate the Exarchia neighborhood and the attacks of the Rubikonas extremists add to the feeling of insecurity.

By the way, the identity of these people are known to everyone.

Yet, Citizen Protection Ministers consider them fake news – “Where did you see them?”

The message the deputy Minister for Citizen Protection recently sent to citizens was that “it’s not the end of the world” referring to the hooligan clashes and the anarchist attacks on the Acropolis Police Station late Saturday night.

But this absurd and insensitive statement, “it’s not the end of the world” is actually a warning. It is an indication that violence is being accepted as something normal.

This is how Latin America became what it is, through “it’s not the end of the world” attitudes.

Unfortunately, this mindset, and the complete denial of political responsibility represented by “it’s not the end of the world,” has already, like a cancer, penetrated deeper than we imagine in society and among the security forces. It has even affected the physical cleanliness of the Police stations.

This revelation was made by the leader of the main opposition New Democracy party, after he visited the Acropolis Police Station:

“I did not know,” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis, “that unfortunately, the cleaning contracts for the police stations expired two months ago. I saw a sad picture, like the third world, of the state of cleanliness of the Police station. And I imagine the same situation prevails in other Police stations. These things are totally unacceptable. It is not possible that in Greece in 2019 Police departments operate under such unprecedented conditions. Not only because public health itself is in danger but because it is a profound insult to the police officers themselves who live and work in these miserable conditions.”

Now everyone can imagine what the general situation of the Police must be like.

So is it a coincidence that Athens has been filled with private guards?

This is not encouraging for the country. It is the result of political sentiment that declares criminal elements to be heroes and depreciates the country’s police forces.


The recent editorial in the Times of London, in which the paper declares that it now supports the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, is an important step towards their not-so-distant return.

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