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Society

Plan to Beautify Athens’ Park Draws Fierce Local Resistance

ATHENS – Work to transform a hilltop park in the anarchist stronghold of Exarchia is drawing fire from some residents who don’t want it changed from its current state of being largely unkempt and a hangout for drug dealers.

Strefi Hill is also nearby Exarchia Square, where work to construct a metro station has run into violent opposition in a neighborhood rebellious to police and any government or private investor intervention or plans.

What’s also upsetting to critics is that the work to make over the hill will be done by a private contractor that’s a donor to the project which also aims to improve walking trails and leisure facilities and stop landslides that could affect the densely populated area around it.

Not everyone is opposed and Kathimerini said that many long-time residents don’t want anarchists and others against the project interfering with the work to beautify the area and make it more friendly to families and children.

Engineers who surveyed the hill ahead of the works were accompanied by riot police to guard against attacks in an area where squadrons of cops are often under attack by anarchists.

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