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Society

It Took 34 Years, But Greek Cops Clear Out University Squatters

THESSALONIKI – A basement area in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki that was seized by anarchist squatters in 1987 and used ever since as a hideout saw them finally removed by police in an operation that took only a few hours.

Inside was found dozens of wooden poles and cloths such as those used to make banners for protest marches, a homemade sledgehammer, a bag of rocks and an undisclosed amount of cash, said Kathimerini.

There was no explanation why police waited more than three decades to make a move although Greek universities often see buildings and other areas taken over by students or anarchists who are allowed to stay for some time.

The police raid came after some 30 hooded youths earlier tore into the university’s administrative offices and spray-painted slogans in defense of the squat, as well as messages threatening academic authorities if they didn’t let them keep it.

The university plans to use the vacated area to create a 1.3-million-euro ($1.48 million) library for the Faculty of Sciences that will serve 5,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 350 members of the teaching staff, the paper said.

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