Greece Aims to Crack Down on Law Enforcement, Says Government Spokesperson

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Greece should reach a point where enforcing the law is no longer news, said government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis in an interview with Real FM radio on Sunday.

He commented on the clashes between police and rioters around Aristotle University of Thessaloniki during the night. Marinakis also noted that the numbers of "known unknown" troublemakers was constantly decreasing.

While nobody particularly wants police intervention in universities, he added, illegal actions and the people destroying universities should not be "legitimized." It is "self-evident" that there should be arrests. With the new legal framework, he added, "these people who destroy property - yours, ours, everyone's, the toil and taxes of Greek taxpayers - will no longer receive suspended sentences but rather go to jail and serve a significant portion of their sentence if they are found guilty."

"Therefore, they will think twice and many times before destroying the property of their fellow citizens or the public property that belongs to Greek taxpayers and instead do something worthwhile with their lives," he added.

"We are a few weeks away from a historic reform, primarily for state universities. Seventy percent of this law concerns state universities, their reinforcement, financing, strengthening, and collaboration with major universities abroad. It also addresses the demands that university authorities and students have been making of the state for years, which the state has now heard. Additionally, it addresses the establishment of non-state university branches. In this context, the 'known unknowns' who are becoming ever fewer, have decided of their own accord to occupy some schools - about a third of schools where once it would have been all of them. When the authorities were called, they intervened," Marinakis said.

He noted that the government was making an even fairer and more comprehensive change to the penal code. The aim is to implement strict and fair penalties, where the actual time served aligns much closer to nominal sentences and the delivery of justice is faster. Marinakis also pointed to many changes supporting the victims in cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and others. Additionally, the "automatic" release for prisoners who had served a certain proportion of their sentence will now be at the discretion of a Judicial Council, based on a series of criteria.

Marinakis concluded by announcing a pre-electoral New Democracy congress in the next few weeks. He added that the party's list of candidates in the EuroParliament elections will be announced in April.

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