Five people were injured late on Thursday following a confrontation between Greek residents of a squat in in the central Athens district of Monastiraki and a group of German nationals alleged to be members of extreme-right groups with links to Greece's neo-fascist Golden Dawn.
According to sources, the trouble began on Thursday night after around 25 members of the squat approached a restaurant where the 12 Germans had been eating. The two sides exchanged barbs and the argument escalated into a brawl close to the Monastiraki square, a busy tourist spot.
The Germans are said to be in Athens at the invitation of Golden Dawn to join a rally planned for Saturday marking the anniversary of the 1996 Imia crisis, a territorial dispute with Turkey during which three Greek military officers were killed and which nearly brought the two countries to war.
Top officials of the Greek Police and the Public Order Ministry convened on Friday to discuss the tight security that is expected to be imposed for GD's rally.