Residents of Keratea dig trench in road

Residents of Keratea, southeastern Attica, who have been violently clashing with police over the planned construction of a landfill in their area, on Thursday created a new kind of disturbance by digging a 1.5-meter-deep trench in the middle of Lavriou Avenue, the thoroughfare connecting the nearby port of Lavrio to the capital.

For weeks, residents have been setting up blockades on the road, which has been the scene of vehement clashes with riot police being deployed in the area.

But the trench is a new tactic and resulted in the closure of a large section of the road on Thursday and obliged motorists to use diversions.

The development prompted outrage among several politicians including ruling party cadres. ?This can?t go on,? Deputy Agricultural Development Minister Milena Apostolaki told Skai. ?The Greek people cannot keep paying for this explosion of social irresponsibility.?

Dora Bakoyannis, the head of the recently-formed Democratic Alliance and a former foreign minister under the conservatives, told Skai that dialogue was the only way to break the deadlock in Keratea but claimed that the government is unable or unwilling to open such a debate.

On Wednesday, it emerged that the country?s police workers? union has sued the Greek Police over ?unacceptable working conditions? that hundreds of riot squad officers are having to endure in Keratea. Police have been working long hours in high-risk conditions since December, the union complained.

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