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Politics

SYRIZA Challenged Over Exarchia Metro Work Violent Protests

ATHENS – The New Democracy government said its major rival SYRIZA, which has a hard-core nucleus of anarchist and terrorist sympathizers, should take a stand over violent demonstrations trying to block construction of a new Metro subway station in the central neighborhood of Exarchia.
That is a hotbed of anti-establishment groups who reigned for years and clashed frequently with riot police before the Conservative government moved to clamp down on trouble there.

But the protesters don’t want a Metro stop under the main square there in an area known for its Bohemian character, graffiti-scrawled walls and gathering spots of coffee shops and restaurants and rebellious talk in the air.

Workers trying to begin initial surveys and other preliminary activities to prepare for construction under the square have faced taunts, intimidation and been pelted with objects even while being guarded by police squads.

“Every day we see some people reacting violently, even bullying workers at the construction site, in order to prevent the metro station from being built in Exarchia. A project that will greatly facilitate the residents meets the furious opposition of some regressive members of ‘collectives’ who even speak in the name of progress,” New Democracy’s press office said in a statement.

“SYRIZA has not found a word to say. Is it for or against the creation of a metro station in Exarchia? Does it condemn the attacks on workers?” it asked. There was no initial answer.

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