Authorities Meet To Tackle Racism
President Demetris Christofias, Attorney-General Petros Clerides and Minister of Justice Lukas Lukas met yesterday to discuss measures to fight racism and extreme nationalism in the wake of violent events that happened towards the end of last year.
The meeting also included Chief of Police Michalis Papageorgiou as the government tries to decide on how to deal more effectively with crime and violence.
"Today's meeting was certainly in the light of racist incidents and events that we had recently and is part of the effort made by the state to address these phenomena," said government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou.
The spokesman said that the presidency takes violence and racism very seriously and is "paying close attention". Asked whether the racist phenomena are isolated or organised, Stefanou said the government is concerned that the violence is a danger to society and if tackled decisively, the worst can be avoided.
He refused to divulge what measures were being discussed, saying that for the time being they are not to be publicised.
Last year, there were two serious incidents of violence targeting foreigners. One was in November in Larnaca during the migrant association KISA's Rainbow Festival when extreme nationalists confronted migrant workers participating in the festival. The other was during a basketball game in Nicosia when APOEL fans mobbed a Turkish basketball team after a game, forcing them to take shelter in the locker rooms and resulting in the injury of a policewoman.