Parliament approves Justice Ministry bill introducing tougher penalties for serious crimes

A justice ministry bill with a series of amendments to the penal and criminal justice code was approved in a plenary vote on Thursday.

New Democracy party’s 157 MPs voted in favor of the bill, as did Movement for Change (KINAL) MP Andreas Loverdos, while all opposition parties voted against it.

The provisions in the bill impose tougher penalties for heinous crimes such as rape or sexual abuse of minors, which carry a life sentence without alternatives, while a similar heavy sentence may be imposed on any individual causing a forest fire in which at least one person is killed.

The bill also introduces measures designed to increase protection of vulnerable social groups and crack down on sex offenders, such as pushing back the date of offences to prevent their write-off due to statutes of limitation and the way they are prosecuted in order to bring Greek law in line with European conventions to protect the rights of victims.