It is the first time that the competent minister – and indeed in the pages of Ta Nea – has linked the hooligans who are active in Exarheia, or at least some of them, with drug dealing and trafficking. The government admits, in other words, that their activity is not only ideologically motivated, but is also clearly linked to criminal activity of the common criminal code.

That admission constitutes a first step towards restoring not only legality in the narrow sense, but also a normal daily reality, to which residents and visitors to the capital’s historic centre are entitled.

The government should at long last admit that today’s miserable image of the Athens city centre in not the result of the crisis, but the product of a specific political will.

There is a political unwillingness to stop certain Athenian neighbourhoods from living the fear of violence, and to help drug users and not abandon them in the middle of the street, like human refuse.

The same unwillingness can be seen in Pedion tou Areos, as is apparent from our newspaper’s report. The image of decline in this historic park exposes the state and the area’s residents to incalculable dangers.

Combating lawlessness is the democratic duty of every government. Restoring legality to areas that suffer from constant incidents of crime means restoring liberty. Where there is fear one does not have freedom.

There is fear where the competent state organs do not do their job due to cowardice.