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Greek MP calls for firearms crackdown, fearing of parliamentary shootout

by Helena Smith, The Guardian  |  published on December 18, 2012

An independent MP has called for a crackdown on firearms in Greece amid allegations that a growing number of politicians are carrying weapons.

Reports of pistol-carrying deputies entering parliament have added to the febrile mood in a 300-member chamber in which hardcore Marxists sit with fascists, eurocommunists, rightwing populists, conservatives, socialists and an array of independent dissidents.

The MP, Nikos Nikolopoulos, told the Guardian he was “deeply worried” by the dramatic rise in requests for weapons licenses by parliamentarians.

“I have real concerns that MPs are entering the house with weapons and because of that I asked how, in our temple of democracy, it was possible for deputies to carry guns?”

Expelled in July from the conservative New Democracy party, a partner in the coalition government, the MP expressed alarm over the number of parliamentarians who had sought permits to carry arms since Greece’s debt crisis erupted three years ago.

“More and more MPs are requesting licenses for guns and it’s clearly connected to the crisis,” he said. “I have been a politician for the past 23 years and have enough evidence from various police departments to be very concerned.”

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