Greek Justice Ministry under fire for reduced sentences plan

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s Justice Ministry has angered opposition parties and officials in the governing Syriza party by proposing criminal law changes that would reduce sentences for some serious offences.

The main opposition New Democracy party deplored the lower penalty for making and throwing gasoline bombs, which anarchist and far-left demonstrators often use against police officers.

The party said last Wednesday the proposed changes would encourage use of Molotov cocktails and also criticised the ministry’s proposed softening of the sentence for heading a criminal organisation.

Leaders of Greece’s Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party are on trial on that charge, in connection with the 2013 slaying of a left-wing musician.

Syriza’s youth branch opposed the proposed penalty for leading a criminal organisation, as well as a separate proposal that would make rape convictions more difficult.