Citizen Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis on Thursday defended law enforcement authorities' handling of protests and mobilisations in the Keratea district in extreme southeast Attica prefecture against a garbage processing centre in the area.

“Police are doing their job in a cool-headed manner. They are trying to face a situation that is unprecedented in Greece. This has never happened before and the time has come for justice to undertake initiatives against those who are responsible," he said.

Papoutsis referred to continuing protests against the construction of such a facility in Keratea.

In an unrelated development, and following a meeting with a delegation of 14 MEPs, members of the European Parliament committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE), he cited the Greek government’s decision to grant asylum to eligible foreign nationals and to proceed with the voluntary repatriation or deportation of the rest.

On his part, LIBE Committee chairman Juan F. Lopez Aguilar underlined that Europe will display tangible solidarity to the actions undertaken by Greece as regards EU external borders, adding that the work done by the Greek government in the specific period is being appreciated.