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Society

Squatters in Athens Buildings Given 15 Days to Get Out

November 21, 2019

ATHENS – After raiding abandoned buildings and others, emptying them of squatters – many refugees and migrants avoiding detention centers and camps – the New Democracy government on Nov. 20 gave a 15-day for others living in unlawfully occupied buildings to get out.

The Citizens Protection Ministry issued a written statement calling on all those who’ve occupied buildings, public or private, to leave them, adding that asylum seekers or third country nationals found in the buildings will be transported to shelters on the mainland, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki.

In case of private property, squatters are instructed to contact the owners in order to agree on lease terms instead of living there unlawfully, it was advised, a policy that drew flak from critics for the minister in charge, Michalis Chrysohoidis.

That was led by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that let squatters take over buildings and two Members of Parliament from the party demanded to know if police are unlawfully tracking private citizens with GSP devices, the paper said.

The SYRIZA deputies cited media reports claiming that at least three people discovered GPS devices on their vehicles or prevented unknown people from placing such devices.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, after ousting SYRIZA in July 7 snap elections, said he would end lawlesness in the anarchist-dominated neighborhood of Exarchia where most of the squatters have long been living.

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