Greece steps up measures against street rioters

ATHENS, Greece

The justice ministry tabled a draft law in parliament Friday (April 24th) imposing stricter sanctions on demonstrators wearing hoods or masks. The new measure is part of government efforts to fight a recent wave of street violence that has plagued the country since December 2008, when a police officer shot dead a teenager.

The ministry said the law would allow judges to impose longer sentences for such demonstrators convicted of violence and vandalism and would eliminate the option of paying a fine instead of doing jail time.

In other news, a gunman fired shots into the air outside the offices of the Athens television station Alter on Saturday. Though there were no injuries, this was the second such drive-by shooting at the station in the last three months.

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