A group of 400 residents from the downtown neighborhood of Exarchia have written to the Athens prosecutor's office, complaining about a spike in crime in their area.
In a three-page letter, the residents complain about the fact that the police are basically banned from entering Exarchia, a traditional bastion for Greek anarchists, noting that the problem is spreading beyond Exarchia.
Claiming that their neighborhood is turning into a ghetto, the residents noted that an increasing number of locals are moving away and the informal status of the area as an "autonomous statelet" and base for various criminal elements is being consolidated.
They noted that various state bodies that had been based in the area have relocated along with a number of private companies.
They expressed fears of an "organized plan" aimed at turning Exarchia into a "base, refuge and launching pad for lawlessness" that would move crime away from other parts of the capital and called for an intervention by the authorities.