Homeless shelter search prompts arrests

Activists broke into an empty municipal building in Athens on Wednesday in an apparent bid to shelter homeless people from the bad weather, forcing police to intervene.

About 40 people occupied the cafe of the Athens Municipal Cultural Center on Academias Street after 3 p.m. Police evacuated the building after occupiers refused to negotiate with municipal officials, arresting 15 people.

Meanwhile, municipal authorities and volunteers stepped up their efforts to assist the capital?s roughly 15,000 homeless to weather the freezing temperatures. The press center at the Olympic Stadium has been made available to homeless people for as long as the cold snap lingers, the management at the complex said yesterday. A fast food company said that it would provide food and drinks for anyone seeking shelter at the building in northern Athens.

Two more spaces became available on Wednesday, at the Ethniki Amyna metro station in northeastern Athens and the Social Solidarity Network in Piraeus.