ATHENS – As they did at nearby Exarchia Square where a Metro station under construction ran into fierce opposition, Greek police squads had to protect surveyors on Strefi Hill doing preliminary work for a major overhaul.
Police said they detained 19 people at the hill site who were screaming at the crews and trying to intimidate them, the surveyors having gone there to do initial measures for work that will include sprucing up the area and parks.
The project was assigned by the municipality to a company which is expected to start work this month over the objections of some residents in an anarchist stronghold who are opposed to private companies and want the unkempt park used by drug dealers to remain that way, without any intervention.
Police, said Kathimerini, had to keep people away from the crews and the protesters responded with verbal blasts at the workers after unsuccessfully trying to block the work that they said will chance the character of the area and raise rents.
Protesters in the area that is a curiously popular area for tourists looking for a Bohemenian alternative to more upper-scale neighborhoods want it left alone and don’t want an underground Metro station, preferring to walk distances from those further away.