Greece alarmed by spate of contract killings
Greece has witnessed five contract killings linked to the mafia and organised crime since April. The Minister of Citizens' Protection Michalis Chrisochoidis has declared war on organised crime and promised to restore order and security. But it may already be too late for that, the media fear.
The state is being challenged
Organised crime has already gained a strong foothold in Greek society, Kathimerini warns:
“Experts say that organised crime has already exceeded the capabilities of law enforcement agencies. It has managed to expand into business and legitimate sources of profit. ... It has also spread geographically and is trying to gain influence over popular tourist destinations. ... The sharp rise in murders is seen as a transitional symptom. The criminal networks are testing each other's limits, but not only that. They are also testing the reflexes of the state.”
Action needed without delay
Ta Nea is also alarmed:
“Five executions in two months may not be a large number for a country that has a long history of organised crime. Yet it is hair-raising for Greek society, which is not accustomed to systematic Mafia-style actions or to a daily settling of accounts. From the murder in Alimos to those in Sepolia and Vari, it seems we are entering a new phase in the operation of crime. ... What is needed is a coherent plan to root out the Mafia groupings that are being set up. As long as cases are not cracked, a heap of dossiers will pile up in Greek police offices. The battle has not been decided, yet there is no room for delay.”