ATHENS – Platoons of Greek police were called on to protect workers starting construction of a new subway Metro station in the Greek capital’s anarchist-heavy Exarchia neighborhood after violent protests.
Some residents of the area don’t want a Metro stop there, fearing it will change the Bohemian nature of the area and drive up rents and further see units being turned into-short rentals driving them out.
Groups of people tried to block the setting up of the construction site and trouble erupted when branches were cut from trees that were blocking the installation of the fencing, police using chemicals to drive off, said Kathimerini.
The contractor responsible for the preliminary work on all the sites where metro stations on Line 4 will be built had been notified a month ago “to be on standby,” in anticipation of fierce resistance.
Attiko Metro told the newspaper that, “All types of existing trees in Exarchia Square have been recorded and photographed and their dimensions have been fully recorded,” and the greenery would be restored.
“The vast majority of the trees and all of the shrubs are species that can be successfully transplanted and will be transplanted by specialized crews,” it stressed but opponents aren’t buying any arguments for the station.
Work is also being done on nearby Strefi Hill to renovate a park largely used by drug users and has become dirty and unkempt but there is opposition to that as well by people who want it left the way it is, without any upgrading.