ATHENS – Greece’s government is proposing a jailed anarchist on a hunger strike who wants to attend college could study in jail until getting a monitoring bracelet to be let out periodically.
Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said the plan would be offered to bank robber Nikos Romanos, who is in the 30th day of a hunger strike in protest at authorities’ refusal to grant him furlough to attend lectures.
“If we start enforcing the use of the bracelet and it fulfills our preconditions… then this can be implemented,” Athanasiou said, responding to a question by leftist SYRIZA MP Tasos Kourakos, referring to legislation that has been approved in Parliament but has yet to be put into effect.
Until the measure comes into effect, Athanasiou appealed to Romanos’s parents to convince their son to begin his studies by distance learning, in accordance with the provisions of a new bill that is to be voted on in Parliament on Dec. 9.
Romanos’ father met with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Dec. 8 and said his son would not relent until his demands were met and that he would refuse liquids until the government gave in.
Romanos’ lawyer said his client is receptive to the idea of wearing a bracelet if it lets him get out of jail from time to time. Romanos, 21, who spat defiance at the government on his arrest, was deemed a flight risk but his lawyer said he wasn’t.
“I guarantee that Romanos wants to study, not to escape,” Fragiskos Ragousis said. Romanos has appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn a rejection of his appeal to be granted study leave.
Meanwhile, as protesters held sit-ins in dozens of public buildings in solidarity with Romanos, doctors opposed a prosecutor’s order for him to be force fed.