Greek riot police banned from parliament bathrooms

AP News
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Posted: Jun 08, 2015 5:00 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Forget bailouts or austerity riots. The hot topic now in Greece is toilets.

Riot police guarding the perimeter of Greece's parliament say they are no longer being allowed inside the building to use its bathrooms.

The Police Officers Association in Athens said in a statement Monday that the uniformed officers have been recently banned from entering parliament. It urged the Public Order Ministry to intervene to stop police from being treated as "third-class citizens" in the building they have protected from numerous violent protests.

Greece's governing left-wing Syriza party, which came to power in January, often sided with anti-austerity demonstrations outside parliament while condemning any violence.

Parliament didn't comment directly about the complaint, but speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou said in a statement that "armed officers in twos and threes, seeking entrance to parliament without displaying their ID are in breach of parliament's security regulations."

Konstantopoulou argued that her office was being targeted for criticism due to her prominent role in parliamentary investigations into alleged state corruption and the country's massive national debt.

Parliament also issued guidelines saying officers providing security at the building would in the future be dressed in civilian clothes with badges prominently displayed.