Thursday, March 19, 2009

Είμαστε 'ολοι κουκουλοφόροι τώρα - We are all hoodies now

The government has now amended the law so that anyone covering their face while committing a crime will receive between two and ten years extra on their sentence. This generously includes disturbing the peace, which can mean anything from rioting to speaking back to the police. In addition it is now an offence to insult an officer of the law if you have covered your face.

As you can see from these examples of legalistic buffoonery the government has lost the plot over law and order. They have resorted to ridiculous knee - jerk responses as they are at a loss to deal with rising crime and a wave of political violence. What can you say about law enforcement when you read that a bank was robbed three times by the same guy who ran the kiosk opposite. Or that the present government averages one major corruption scandal every three months?

I just hope that the law concerning the wearing of masks also includes the supporters of right wing extremist groups I saw operate with impunity during the December riots. The police here in Thessaloniki seemed to have no problems with youths wearing masks and throwing rocks as long as the target was the "right one". See here for video I took of the police standing by just metres away while groups of right wingers lob rocks into the Aristotelion university of Thessaloniki.

The reality is that the government is running scared and that they have been made to look stupid by a number of lapses in security such as the escape by helicopter for a second time from the country's maximun security, Korydallos prison and the latest disturbances in central Athens which took place under the noses of the police. The sense of panic seems amost palable and I think we are likely to see a growing list of "tougher"( read authoritarian) law and order measures as those in charge seek to give the impression that are doing something.

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