Operation to clear Roma camp continues

Sanitation teams from the City of Athens on Monday continued an operation to clear debris and other material at a Roma camp in the western Athens district of Votanikos that was destroyed in a fire last week.

In an interview with Skai on Monday, Deputy Mayor Andreas Varelas said the clean-up would be completed by Tuesday.

Varelas said police, who conducted a raid at the wrecked settlement on Friday, had detained a large number of Roma who were said to be in the country illegally. He said they would be deported from Greece.

It is estimated that about 400 Roma, often called Gypsies, from Albania lived at the Votanikos camp in some 80 makeshift homes.

Local residents had asked for authorities to act after the blaze, which apparently started while some Roma were burning cables to extract the copper wiring.

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