Greece has scrapped police protection for MPs from the far-right Golden Dawn party after the bodyguards did nothing while the deputies went on a rampage destroying street stands run by migrant vendors.
Led by three MPs, Golden Dawn supporters in black glasses and black t-shirts overturned and broke tables manned by migrants at open-air markets held on Saturday at the central Greek towns of Messolongi and Rafina.
Reacting to public criticism for police inaction, public order minister Nikos Dendias yesterday suspended the Rafina police chief.
His ministry also said it removed the state-appointed body guards protecting all Golden Dawn MPs, saying it wanted to spare policemen the conflict of having to either protect the deputies or stopping them from illegal behaviour.
It was the first time police protection had been revoked for MPs, police officials said. Armed bodyguards are privileges enjoyed by all Greek members of parliament.
“The police force has decided to remove police protection for Golden Dawn members of parliament after the party announced that it will continue with violent actions and abuse of authority,” the ministry said.
“The decision is aimed at protecting police guards from unintentional conflict of duty in guarding MPs, since their duty is to pursue and arrest violators.”
(source: PTI, Scotsman)