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Politics

Greek Cops Step Up Raids on Squats, Arrest 85 Migrants in Athens

ATHENS – With the country’s attention squarely focused on the COVID-19 Coronavirus and most people staying home and trying to avoid the disease, Greek police again rounded up migrants living unlawfully in squats and taking over buildings.

Some 85 were detained in an Athens Polytechnic auditorium and taken to the aliens’ bureau in central Athens for identification after being found living in squalid conditions in a school housing the architecture and fine arts faculty, said Naftemporiki.

Anarchists had taken them there after police raided squats in the capital’s downtown, with many concentrated in the neighborhood of Exarchia that is home to anti-establishment groups challenging the government.

That came as the government had closed the border with Turkey, which had sent thousands of refugees and migrants there before pulling them back, and with asylum applications suspended and deportations of those who managed to enter the country after March 1.

Some 42,000 are being housed in island detention centers and camps, with another 58,000 or so on the mainland and worry that the facilities could be breeding grounds to spread the disease further.

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