Heavily-armed police officers are being stationed at key points around Athens, notably busy tourist spots, beginning on Thursday, in a bid to increase security in the capital city.
The officers, whose ranks are to be boosted over the coming months, are being deployed in line with measures taken in many European cities to avert possible crimes and terrorist attacks.
So far just six or seven officers, armed with automatic weapons, have been dispatched to spots in the busy shopping districts around Ermou Street, Monastiraki and Hadrian’s Arch.
The new Greek government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has vowed to boost policing and put an end to lawlessness prevailing in the notorious Exarchia district, where anarchist groups have proclaimed the area “a state within a state.”
The government has pledged to hire 1,500 new officers to bolster the DIAS motorcycle patrol units and to reconstitute the “Delta” group in Greek Police, a rapid-deployment motorcycle force which was abolished by the SYRIZA government.