Two unions will be holding separate rallies in central Athens on Thursday evening to protest a law imposing strict penalties on anyone trying to prevent foreclosure auctions.
Starting at 6 p.m., civil servants’ union ADEDY will be gathering at Syntagma Square and communist-affiliated PAME at Klafthmonos on Stadiou Street, effectively bringing traffic to a standstill in the downtown Athens area.
“After the amendment restricting the right to strike, the government is now targeting people fighting foreclosures by tabling an amendment criminalizing their action in order to deal with public rage and terrorize them,” ADEDY said in a statement announcing the protest rally. “This alone shoots down the government’s ‘narrative’ that the residences and assets of the people are not at risk.”
Seeking to crack down on the vociferous protests against auctions of foreclosed properties outside courthouses and notary offices, the government on Wednesday passed an amendment to a Justice Ministry draft bill stipulating that anyone using violence or the threat of violence will be instantly prosecuted.
More specifically, the amendment, which was passed after pressure from Greece’s international creditors, states that no formal request (motu proprio) will be required for action to be taken against offenders. The same amendment also sets minimum prison sentences of three or six months for anyone entering areas where auctions are taking place without permission.