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Society

After Coast Guard Ambush, Greek Cops Raid Exarchia for Squatters

April 11, 2019

ATHENS – On the heels of eight Coast Guardsmen being attacked while conducting a drug raid, Greek police stormed into two buildings April 11 in the anarchist stronghold of Exarchia to push out squatters and detained more than 90 people.

The large-scale operation came after the assault on the Coast Guard by a gang of some 50 people armed with clubs, knives, and even AK-47 automatic weapons in a neighborhood where even riot police are attacked by anarchists who also toss Molotov Cocktails.

According to some witness reports, the attackers were under the impression that the house was being cleared of squatters, which anarchists don’t want to allow as they have taken over empty and abandoned buildings amid reports they are working with drug dealers.

The squat raid on Tzavella street followed a similar operation in a house on Solomou street where three people were detained for possession of cannabis in raids organized by the Attica Security Directorate, with police officers from several divisions, said Kathimerini.

The Greek Police (ELAS) had been caught unawares and embarrassed by Citizens’ Protection Minister Olga Gerovasili who told radio station News247 that, “ELAS didn’t go there, it was not informed,” of the Coast Guard operation in which two officers were hurt.

“We all know there are problems in Exarchia. The problems of crime and delinquency can not be solved by pressing a magic button,” she said.

“But these issues should not be used to score political points whenever somebody decides to play the security card,” she said, without mentioning the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA has been accused of condoning violent incidents in the capital and Mayor Giorgis Kaminis saying some areas had been allowed to descend into lawlessness.

Critics said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras doesn’t want to crack down so that he can try to reestablish credentials with far-left elements after he surrendered to capitalists and bankers as part of international creditors who made him renege on his anti-austerity vows.

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