The Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection and Member of Parliament of the Prefecture of Ilia commented on the images of disasters in the Universities and outside them. Andreas Nikolakopoulos.

Speaking to ERT, Mr. Nikolakopoulos said: “I think that the Police constantly proves that it knows how to do its job. He knows how to intervene, he knows how to protect property, the physical integrity of citizens. What is being done right now is to continue the preliminary investigation into the recent attacks.
We are looking to find the perpetrators. This business is part of this framework and I think that the findings are important and show some things that should concern us all.

We have proven that we can intervene in Greek universities, share the spaces from squatters, occupy criminal acts when they are committed by perpetrators, who either come from the University premises or are outside the University premises.
From then on, however, everyone must assume their responsibilities. And what do I mean by that?
We must all understand that in the University area they have no place, they have no business committing such acts, finding such objects as these.
We heard about poles, we heard about lightning strikes, we heard about helmets.”

He continued by saying: “I remind you that by law of the New Republic, the Greek Police can now intervene in Greek universities when criminal acts are committed.
This is what we do and this is what we did.
Now from then on, everyone must realize that it is good to have parties, it is good to have gatherings, but universities are primarily a place for learning, a place for teaching, a place for exchanging ideas.

When it is decided to do other activities, they should be done under safety conditions.
And here the rector’s authorities should also take responsibility and everyone who is there should take responsibility, the student groups and the students who want to enter, the majority of students want to take courses because universities are for this job.

So we say that every time criminal acts are committed we will enter, we will intervene and enforce order, we will arrest those who commit criminal acts and in any case we must all take our responsibilities.
And of course I’m also talking about the professors and the rectors, who should ensure that everything that is done in Greek universities is done safely.”

Subsequently, Mr. Nikolakopoulos stated that: “In the context of the preliminary investigation, we had to establish whether some of those who participated in the attack that took place in the previous days, on private properties and even on buses which are school, private, private school buses.
And all of this, you understand, is also related to the recent legislation that we passed in Parliament, and everyone must realize that the political forces that express an opposing political discourse should also take their responsibilities on this, because any disagreement should not lead to acts of violence.
We are therefore conducting a preliminary investigation in order to establish whether some of the participants in the recent attack were on the premises of the University and whether any of the instruments they used were on the premises”.

Continuity of business

Regarding whether similar operations will be carried out, he commented: “Every time we have information or every time there is a preliminary investigation or every time it is called by the rector’s authorities, the Greek Police are there to intervene.
Beyond that, however, everyone should realize that within the University space there is an autonomy and the professors and the rector’s authorities should ensure that any activity that takes place is done in terms of security”.

Speaking about the everyday life of the citizens, he said: “Of course it is a gamble and for this reason we have intensified our efforts, so that the citizen realizes that the Greek Police is by his side, in everyday life.
We have intensified the presence of the Greek Police in the places where there is a possibility of committing criminal acts. I think that the presence of the Greek Police is now more evident and this is done through the return of police officers to the frontline forces, to the Direct Action, to OPKE, to the DIAS group.
You have also found that the Traffic Police is now more present.
This is because we have made decisions to strengthen front-line forces and are moving forward with determination in carrying out this effort.

Because I think that everyone should realize that the Greek Police is next to the citizen to support their security and we want to strengthen this relationship of trust that exists with the Greek Police.
We see police officers who intervene directly in acts that are happening.
We also saw it in Thessaloniki, a police officer who tried to protect at the risk of his life and physical integrity against attacks by numerous people, to protect citizens and the official leader of the opposition, but also citizens who were inside the Olympian.
And this behavior, this self-sacrifice of the Greek Police, the citizens should trust”.

Corruption phenomena

He also referred to criminal behavior of police officers such as the one in Preveza where two police officers were arrested, who while on duty in an official vehicle transported 100 kg of hashish.

He emphasized that: “Indeed, in the Greek Police there are in some cases centers of corruption, as there are in the rest of society. What matters is that the police force, as an internal police force, works and works to identify these criminal behaviors within the police force as well and arrest the culprits.
This is what the Greek Police did and in this case they found that some of their members are not operating according to the law. We are determined to fight these cases.
The positive thing in this case is that the Internal Control Forces of the Greek Police acted and arrested the perpetrators”.

The borders

Commenting on the visit of M. Chrysochoidis to the Evros, in the context of his tours, he stated that: “The flows from the Evros may indeed be reduced, but they are reduced because there is a certain strict policy of the New Democracy and part of this policy is the fence in Evros and in fact the extension of the fence in Evros.
This work, which is a central political decision of the New Democracy and the Government, we are continuing this work and this is very important.

At the same time, we are sending a message that we place great emphasis on the protection of our borders, not only in Evros, but everywhere and I think the results are positive. Of course there are new flows towards Crete.
We are called to face these and we will continue an immigration policy, tough, but fair.
The Greek borders are protected, they are also borders of the European Union.
We also ask for greater solidarity from the European Union on this.
But Evros is inaccessible and we wish the same to happen for the rest of our country’s borders.”

The case of the 12-year-old girl in Colonos

Regarding the case of the 12-year-old girl in Colonos and whether there is a legal framework for the Justice to punish them, he pointed out that: “First of all we must say that such an act, the rape of a 12-year-old minor, is a particularly heinous act.
If you ask me, of course there is, the criminal code provides specific penalties for the rape of a minor.
What we want to see how the criminal legislature deals with, this.
And I think there is a hypocrisy on the part of the opposition when it reduced the maximum penalty for rape to 15 years, when the New Democracy then increases this limit to 20 years.
This is the institutional framework.

But what is important is to form an institutional framework that will deal appropriately with such heinous acts and in the view of this government, which we have repeatedly proceeded to tighten penalties for specific offences, so I think the problem is not that moment the institutional framework.
The point is we cannot know what has happened, as you said in a trial. We must also respect the principles of fair trial and the presumption of innocence. Judges and the judiciary are independent to do their job and I have confidence in the Greek judiciary, they will deal with these acts as they should.
No one can prejudge decisions just by a prosecutor’s proposal.”