Refugees Camped at Athens’ Syntagma Square Transferred to Eleonas Refugee Camp



The refugees and the migrants wanted to go back to the building in Exarchia. Photo by Kathimerini

Approximately forty refugees and migrants, including many children, who had been camping at Syntagma Square in Athens since Thursday, left the square on Saturday afternoon.

At first, they refused to leave, despite the efforts of Greek authorities to persuade them to vacate the square.

The refugees and migrants were living in an empty building in the downtown Exarchia neighborhood, a run-down district of the Greek capital, well-known for being the home base of Greek anarchists.

The building at Bouboulinas Street was emptied on Thursday morning, when a police operation took place, in a government effort to show that Exarchia is not a ”ghetto” area, as the opposition parties and residents claim.

The asylum-seekers who were living in the building camped in Athens’ central square for nearly two days.

Officials from the Municipality of Athens were concerned about their fate as there are many children among them.

Most of them accepted the suggestion to be transferred to the refugee camp of Eleonas, the only camp operating in Attica region. Approximately fifteen refused, but they decided to vacate the square.