Po­lice evac­u­ate squats, prompt­ing SYRIZA ire

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Po­lice in Thes­sa­loniki yes­ter­day moved dozens of self-styled anti­estab­lish­ment pro­test­ers, chiefly for­eign­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the city’s pro-refugee No Border Camp, out of three oc­cu­pied build­ings in the north­ern city.

The po­lice crack­down, which re­sulted in 74 ar­rests, fol­lowed crit­i­cism of the govern­ment’s failure to in­ter­vene in the No Border Camp, which oc­cu­pied two fac­ul­ties of Thes­sa­loniki’s Aris­to­tle Univer­sity for 10 days and led to wide­spread van­dal­ism.

All three build­ings were evac­u­ated by po­lice and one, a derelict for­mer or­phan­age, was de­mol­ished.

Of the 74 peo­ple de­tained by the po­lice, only 10 were Greeks, ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources who said the oth­ers were from 10 Euro­pean Union coun­tries, New Zealand, Russia and Guinea.

A few fam­i­lies of mi­grants be­ing hosted at the squats were moved to state re­cep­tion fa­cil­i­ties in the re­gion. Par­tic­i­pants in the No Bor- der Camp at the Aris­to­tle Univer­sity had brought hun­dreds of mi­grants to the cam­pus on buses from re­cep­tion cen­ters in the broader re­gion.

The first group of de­tainees faced a pros­e­cu­tor in Thes­sa­loniki yes­ter­day on charges of dis­turb­ing the peace and the rest are to do so to­day.

Yes­ter­day’s po­lice raids were con­demned by left­ist SYRIZA, the party which leads the rul­ing coali­tion. “The crim­i­nal­iza­tion of sol­i­dar­ity move­ments is a prac­tice which has no bear­ing on the prin­ci­ples and val­ues of the Left,” the party said in a state­ment.

Re­spond­ing, the con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion New Democ­racy called on Al­ter­nate Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Nikos Toskas, who over­sees the po­lice force, to ex­plain whether he agrees with the po­si­tion of his party on the crack­down. “Who is re­spon­si­ble for pub­lic or­der? The Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­istry or SYRIZA?” ND said in a state­ment.

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