Militants, Migrants Occupy Vacant Buildings in Central Athens



Residents and shop owners repeatedly complaint to no avail that vacant buildings in the Exarchia neighborhood are occupied by militants and migrants, a Kathimerini report says.

Similar complaints have been made in other parts of central Athens, but appeals to police have not produced results.

According to the report, police are unable to intervene as they must first receive a formal complaint from the owners of the properties occupied, while in some cases it is unclear who the owners are.

The issue has created a row between Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, with the former implying that the minister is not doing his job properly.

City Hall representatives accuse police of failing to cooperate with municipal authorities when the former lodged a legal suit over the occupation by activists of the building that formerly housed the General Hospital on Patission street.

Anarchists have squatted in some derelict buildings in order to house migrant families. In some cases they even guard them. The occupied buildings include one near Vathi Square that used to be a school and a nearby neoclassical building that was also once used as a school, the report concludes.


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