ATHENS – With the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, breaking campaign vows, moving toward electronic confiscations of people’s homes online to get around sometimes violent courthouse protests, anti-foreclosure protesters broke into a Bank of Greece meeting Feb. 21 to denounce the loss of people’s homes.
The protesters – about 25 individuals believed to be members of the “I Won’t Pay” movement – were carrying banners with slogans opposing the auction of properties by people who can’t pay because of big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings by successive governments.
Police were sent to the scene, Kathimerini said, but by the time they arrived the protesters had rolled down metal barriers and barricaded themselves inside, then departing before they could be detained or apprehended.
There were no reports of arrests as the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who had vowed “Not one home in the hands of banks,” said it would suspend due process and automatically prosecute anyone trying to stop the foreclosures.
Members of a group opposed to property foreclosures staged a march in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, denouncing the e-auctions that will begin nationwide Feb. 28 on orders of the country’s creditors.
After saying he wouldn’t, Tsipras sought and accepted a third rescue package, this one for 86 billion euros ($105.67 billion), from the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) and agreed to more pension cuts, taxes on low-and-middle income families, an avalanche of new taxes and the foreclosures he condemned while out of office.
A large crowd gathered outside the Finance Ministry in central Athens to protest property foreclosures and continuing austerity but they were ignored too.
Anti-foreclosure protesters outside the Bank of Greece on Feb. 21, 2018, to denounce the loss of people’s homes. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)