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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-02-03

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Independent Greeks leader Kammenos: We will not vote for bills that are against our principles
  • [02] New minister outlines policy for police in ANA-MPA interview

  • [01] Independent Greeks leader Kammenos: We will not vote for bills that are against our principles

    ANA/MPA---Defence Minister and Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos on Tuesday, speaking to ANT1 TV, said that if a draft law is against his party's principles and red lines, they will not vote it.

    Kammenos, who is also leader of the junior party that participates in the government, said ANEL will participate in all cabinet's decisions and clarified that "the relation between that State and the Church will not change because this is a red line for his party. He also raised objections to the granting of Greek citizenship to migrants' children.

    He noted that "this government is a national sovereign government that will not be ruled with an email and by foreign centers, but will follow the Greek people's orders.

    Moreover, he announced the review of all armament programme contracts and committed to total transparency.

    Finally, he estimated that a positive climate exists worldwide for a solution to the debt while on the relations with Russia he said that they are institutional and that the cooperation will continue.

    [02] New minister outlines policy for police in ANA-MPA interview

    ANA-MPA -- The police need to be reconciled with the citizens and the citizens with the police, Greece's new Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Yiannis Panousis said in an audio interview with ANA-MPA on Thursday.

    "The primary duty of someone in charge of issues relating to the protection of the citizens is for citizens to understand that they are protected by an institution of democracy that is called the police force and to also understand that the police force does not turn against the freedoms and rights of citizens, because then it would be an institution contrary to democracy. In other words we must be reconciled - the police must be reconciled with citizens and the citizens with the police. This is fundamental. Everything else follows," he said.

    Asked how he intended to enhance the citizens' sense of security, especially in more "difficult" neighbourhoods, the alternate minister noted: "My proposal is for patrols on foot, the neighbourhood police officer. Clearly, where there is need for something more there will be reinforcement with motorbikes, etc. but there will also be local councils for prevention; in other words, participation in policy against crime. There mustn't be a police van and an officer on every street corner. These are things that can be operated by a self-regulating society. I know where the police force suffers, I know where democracy suffers, where society suffers, where rights and freedoms suffer and where Greeks suffer at this phase. The issue is how to bring all this into harmony and not into conflict."

    Regarding the future of individual police units, such as the DELTA force, Panousis said that "everything will be discussed" but also expressed the opinion that "you do not abolish a unit unless you know how to replace it. You must fully determine their duties: The way, the time, the purpose under the Constitution, the law, social harmony and social consensus. In my opinion, police officers must not be unarmed. The issue is do they know when to draw their weapons? Do they know where they are aiming them? Do they know when to shoot? Or do they think that a gun makes the 'big men' and gives them authority over an unarmed and protesting citizen, pensiones, teacher and others. Therefore, there are limits. We are not, of course, referring to common criminals, we are not talking about terrorism - there is a special service for that."

    He said the counter-terrorism service will "continue operating in the way it did, I imagine," while adding that what must not happen is for the ministry and state counter-terrorism operations to become involved in political games. "There is no reason for the minister to attempt to take credit in any way for the success of the police force," he stressed.

    Panousis also referred to the upcoming promotions in the police force, saying that he had met the two chiefs of the force, who had given him all the information relating to the promotions. He said he will make his recommendations but that the coordinating minister and the prime minister "will impose the final direction and take the final decisions".

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