Greece never had the type of Mafia that one sees in films but that does not mean our country has not had problems with organised crime.

Especially in periods of crisis and the underfunding of Greek Police, for many years entire neighbourhoods of Athens and Thessaloniki were controlled by criminal groups. They went about their business unhindered and there were frequent turf wars.

Recent events, with the appearance of death contracts and attacks linked to organised crime, have stirred a backlash.

The memorandum submitted by the citizen’s protection minister to the Supreme Court’s prosecutor with the names and addresses of 500 individuals with criminal records is the first step toward registering and charting a plan to root out organised crime networks throughout the country.

It involves cases of drug trafficking, pimping, and contraband that for years had been simply archived.

The critical element in the minister’s dossier is that it includes data collected over a decade.

It offers a diachronic view of the situation that will help in the next stages of the investigation.

Cooperation with the judiciary so that each case may be evaluated rationally and individually will allow Greek Police to be flexible in its field of action and perhaps succeed.

The citizen’s protection ministry’s move was daring as in other countries the failure of a government to successfully fight organised crime takes a toll on its popularity.

A mere communications management of the issue will do no good. Now is the time for results.

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