ATHENS – After a lull during the now winding-down COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Greek police again went the anarchist haven of Exarchia in the Greek capital to empty squats, taking out about 50 migrants where they had been living.
Before the health crisis hit the police had regularly been sweeping the neighborhood to remove unlawful dwellers and go after criminals although residents said authorities weren't going after gangs smashing car windows and stealing goods inside.
The state-run Athens-Macedonia New Agency (ANA-MPA) said the new raids happened early on May 18 and that the migrants were mainly from Syria as well as Congo and included more than 10 children and that the building was used as a squat since 2016.
The migrants were first led to the police’s Aliens Directorate and are then expected to be sent to different accommodation facilities, police sources telling the agency that the squatters were living in “squalid … conditions.”
Greece is holding more than 100,000 refugees and migrants in detention centers and camps, including more than 38,000 on five islands where they had come from Turkey after going to that country fleeing war and strife in their homelands and hoping to get to more prosperous European Union countries before the borders were shut to them.
There are also untold numbers of others roaming around the Greek capital and Exarchia where they have been ducking police and trying to stay under the radar so they won't be deported while those in camps are seeking asylum.