Far-rightists shout anti-migrant slogans at metro station

Far-rightists shout anti-migrant slogans at metro station

A group of about 50 far-right activists, their faces covered with black masks and carrying clubs, entered Syntagma metro station Sunday afternoon and started shouting anti-migrant slogans.

Many commuters exited the station, afraid violence would erupt.

The masked men had earlier taken part in a gathering, held every year, to commemorate three naval officers who died in January 1996 when a helicopter crashed into the Aegean Sea during a confrontation with Turkey over the two Imia islets, the closest the two countries have come to war since 1974.

The helicopter was flying close to one of the islaets, where Turkish special forces had landed. Greek Navy said the craft fell when the pilot suffered from vertigo, although many people still believe it was brought down by the Turkish forces.

War was averted through the intervention of the United States, specifically then-President Bill Clinton and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Richard Holbrooke.

Far-right organizations gather each year at the monument to the three officers in central Athens. On Saturday, some 400 far-left activists had gathered at the place to prevent the far-rightists’ gathering, which took place Sunday. Significant police presence prevented clashes.

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