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Society

Metro Station Plans for Athens’ Anarchist Hotbed Exarchia

ATHENS – One of the Greek capital’s busiest and quirky neighborhoods, and a longtime home for anarchist groups – Exarchia – will get a stop on the metro system, although it’s been the scene of frequent clashes with riot police.

Transport Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis announced the construction as part of a wider 1.5 billion euro ($1.82 billion) project to build a fourth line for the Greek capital’s metro system.

“We do not have the right to turn our back on any area of Athens without giving it a proper chance of development,” Karamanlis told a parliamentary committee on production and trade, said Kathimerini.

“Citizens have a right to a better standard of living, and the government has the obligation to not abandon any district to the twilight of ghettoization, and the darkness of ideological obsession,” he said.

The work is set to begin by the middle of the spring with uncertainty whether the COVID-19 pandemic will still be lingering, the New Democracy government asking rival parties to support the decision for the station.

But anti-establishment groups don’t want it, saying it will bring gentrification to a neighborhood filled with grimy, graffiti-covered buildings that curiously adds to its appeal from groups who don’t want association with the mainstream.

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