Mur­der fu­els fears of ris­ing city crime

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Fears about spi­ral­ing crime in the city cen­ter were ex­ac­er­bated yes­ter­day af­ter a 44year-old man was fa­tally stabbed while pre­par­ing to take his preg­nant wife to the hos­pi­tal.

Mano­lis Kan­taris had been on the way to pick up his car from a park­ing garage on Triti Septemvriou Street when he was at­tacked by three peo­ple shortly be­fore 5 a.m., po­lice said. He had been car­ry­ing a bag of baby clothes and a video cam­era with which he had planned to record the birth of his sec­ond child. Ac­cord­ing to wit­nesses, the as­sailants ap­proached Kan­taris and de­manded that he hand over the cam­era. When he re­sisted, they started stab­bing him in the back and neck be­fore grab­bing the cam­era and flee­ing. Apart from the ac­counts of wit­nesses, po­lice are ex­am­in­ing footage taken from a sur­veil­lance cam­era in the area.

The man was found dead by his wife who came down to search for him af­ter he failed to re­turn. De­spite her shock, the woman made her way to the city’s Mit­era ma­ter­nity clinic where she gave birth with­out com­pli­ca­tions.

The lat­est in a se­ries of vi­o­lent rob­beries and mug­gings in the cen­ter, where trade in drugs and crime are thriv­ing, the mur­der was con­demned by politi­cians. Gov­ern­ment spokesman Gior­gos Pe­talo­tis called it a “shock­ing in­ci­dent.” But cen­tral and lo­cal authorities ap­peared to pass the buck over polic­ing. Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Chris­tos Papout­sis told Par­lia­ment, “We are de­ter­mined to en­cour­age the mayor of Athens and to co­op­er­ate with him to se­cure the high­est pos­si­ble level of safety for cit­i­zens.” In a writ­ten state­ment, Athens Mayor Gior­gos Kami­nis said that “a great deal of ef­fort is re­quired by po­lice to get the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol” but ex­pressed his will­ing­ness to co­op­er­ate with po­lice.

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