ATHENS – Some 400 residents living in the anarchist hotbed in the Greek capital, scene of frequent clashes between the hooded anti-establishment members and riot police, have written to the city’s prosecutor complaining about unstoppable violence there.
While the police have a major precinct station there, the residents said officers aren’t allowed to go into the neighborhood to chase the anarchists and that the trouble is spreading even further because the police have backed off.
The ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is riddled with terrorist and anarchist sympathizers and one party lawmaker said the notorious anarchist group Rouvikonas, responsible for dozens of attacks with near-impunity, is really just a political party like SYRIZA.
The residents said the filthy, graffiti-covered buildings in Exarchia have become a ghetto, Kathimerini said in a report and that people are moving out, giving up hope that the police have any plan to stop the onslaught of violence although the area, ironically, is one of the hottest for people looking for short-term rentals on site such as Airbnb.
They also said Exarchia is now essentially an “autonomous statelet,” an anarchist-controlled area beyond the police and above the law, noting that a number of state agencies that were located there have also moved out.
The letter indicated they were fearful that there was an organized plan to turn the neighborhood into a “base, refuge and launching pad for lawlessness” that would move crime away from other parts of the capital and want police to stop it.
Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis has been complaining long and loud about the situation but has been ignored, as have complaints from others about stampeding violence across the city, much of it, critics said, from criminals released early from jail under a SYRIZA law.