ATHENS – An information kiosk that anarchist groups set up two years ago in Exarchia Square, the neighborhood they dominate, was taken away by Greek police who have been emptying the area of squatters, drug dealers, criminals and taking on anti-establishment groups.
The container was being used to hand out material aimed at informing people about the background and intent of groups who during the 4 1/2-year reign of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA were allowed to run amok, that party having anarchist and terror sympathizers.
Police removed a container that was set up in Exarchia Square, downtown Athens, two years ago and had been used by anarchists and other groups as a distribution kiosk for information.
Athens Mayor Costas Bakoyannis, from the new ruling New Democracy party of his uncle, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, described the intervention as part of a broader effort by municipal authorities "to improve daily life for Athenians."
"We are determined not to let a day go to waste," he said, adding municipal teams were improving lighting and adding greenery to public areas with a master plan coming to empty the area of troublemakers, remove graffiti, spruce it up more and add a metro station in the same Exarchia Square that's been a favorite hangout for anarchists and other groups.
Police then stepped up their crackdown on lawbreakers in central Athens with two more raids on buildings taken over by migrants, moving out 269 of them including 98 children, said Katherimini of the operation. More than 200 were taken to a detention center in Corinth.
The majority were Syrians seeking asylum who aren't among the more than 75,000 in centers and camps, including more than 25,000 on Greek islands near Turkey which has let human traffickers keep sending more during an essentially suspended swap deal with the European Union which closed its borders to them.
Both buildings had been under occupation since 2016, the paper said, and that one of the buildings, the Tositseia School, belongs to the Society for Promoting Education and Learning, a non-profit educational organization.
The owner of the second building had appealed to a prosecutor for it to be cleared as the notorious anarchist group Rouvikonas, which has been clashing with police, have backed off their threat to stop the evacuations and guard the buildings.
The raid on the former school turned up two pistols and a bag containing 50 bullets, which were sent to the Greek Police’s forensics department, the report said, the old school the scene of several clashes between different ethnic groups over the last two years.
Earlier in September, a group of migrants tried to barge into the building but were pushed back by residents who hurled stones at them. In March 2017 the migrants armed themselves and a more serious clash resulted including different groups trading contraband cigarettes in the downtown.