The government on Friday unveiled a series of proposed changes for Greece’s criminal code, mainly towards the direction of handing down stricter prison sentences for a variety of violence-related felonies.

The proposed revisions aim to reverse the more lenient sentencing guidelines and terms, as well as downgrades of certain offences passed by the previous leftist government on the eve of the July 2019 snap election, with the latter subsequently lost in a landslide.

The proposed revisions also include stricter jail terms for environmental crimes.

The revisions were unveiled by the justice ministry and now come up for public debate, with the relevant minister, Costas Tsiaras, stressing that the goal of the criminal code revisions is to boost citizens’ safety, and to better deal with new forms of criminality and particularly vicious offences.

The most prominent draft revision will increase jail time for life sentences in cases of premediated homicide, gang rape, murder during the course of rape and sexual assault of a minor, among others. In terms of a conviction for the latter offence, only the maximum sentence will be available if the specific revision is ratified by Parliament.

Currently a “life” sentence in Greece may mean as little as 16 years in the penitentiary. Two years will be tacked to the minimum time served for a “life sentence”, going from 16 years to 18 years.

One notorious urban terrorist, convicted of 11 homicides, recently became eligible for conditional parole after serving 19 years behind bars – a period that includes his pre-trial remand and subsequent prison term.

Additionally, intentional arson will again be upgraded to a felony, two years after the previous SYRIZA government passed legislation downgrading the offence to a misdemeanor.

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