For rent: Greek cops, cars

Athens - The cash-strapped Greek state is now looking to a new way of raising revenues - renting out its policemen at an hourly rate of €30, with patrol cars going for €10 more.

This will "pay for the cost of using police material and infrastructure, and allow to modernise them", the ministry of citizen protection, which is in charge of the country's security services, said in a statement on Sunday.

Such police services used in "exceptional cases" such as in escorting the transportation of dangerous material or art works, were previously offered free of charge, said the ministry.

But now, hourly fees of €200 will be charged for patrol boats and €1 500 for helicopters, according to Sunday newspaper Proto Thema, which revealed the internal reform.

The ministry said it would only accept such rentals if they do not affect the security forces' operational capacity.

Greece has a total public debt of over €350bn and was twice forced to obtain bailout funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to stave off bankruptcy.

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