One need not have been a soothsayer to predict that the decision of the government for law and order to prevail in the centre of Athens in general and more specifically at universities would result in a reaction from those who swear by disorder and lawlessness.

The incidents of violence and threats demonstrates that these groups are in a state of turmoil and one of them went as far to utter the words casus belli (cause for war).

What triggered these threats was a 15-day deadline announced by the Ministry of Citizen’s Protection for those who are illegally occupying buildings in the Exarcheia neighbourhood of Athens to get out.

Clearly, with this decision the government placed the bar very high. The deadline coincides with the shooting death of teenager of Alexander Grigoropoulos by a policeman named Korkoneas.

One can safely assume that the climate in the days before, during, and after the commemoration of the killing will be extremely tense.

Consequently, the government must have a specific plan to confront those who seek to disrupt the peaceful life of the capital hoping for yet another explosion of violence.

The effectiveness with which those entrusted with maintaining order operated on the 17 November anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising offers no guarantees for the future and there is no room for complacency, which is impermissible.

From that perspective the government bears a dual responsibility. On the one hand it must prove that the state cannot be threatened or blackmailed. On the other hand, it must demonstrate that police are the first to serve as a model of legality.

That means that when state organs are confronted with bellicose groups and individuals, the response cannot be arbitrary police action.

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