Members of a Roma settlement next to the capital?s main landfill in Fyli, northwestern Attica, are seriously hampering garbage collection by frequently trespassing to scavenge for valuables, according to local authorities.
?The illegal entry of Roma and other scavengers into the site is creating incredible complications for the City of Athens and other municipalities,? Deputy Mayor Andreas Varelas told Kathimerini.
He said the Fyli site was operating at only 70 percent of its capacity, largely due to the trespassers, and that large amounts of garbage remained on the streets of Attica.
Staff, who claim to have been threatened by scavengers following the recent death at the site of a fellow Roma, said on Tuesday that the landfill could only resume proper operation if it receives a 24-hour police guard.
In a related development on Tuesday, municipal sanitation workers on expired short-term contracts clashed with police during a demonstration in the city center. Talks between Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis and unionists representing the protesting workers had broken down