NEWS

Misfits swept under carpet

ATHENS (AFP) – A crackdown on Athens «undesirables» ahead of the Olympics has reached such a high level that staff in one of the capital’s two psychiatric hospitals have twice walked out in protest, hospital sources said yesterday. An unusually high number of drug addicts, alcoholics and mentally ill people have been turned over to medical staff in recent weeks at the behest of the authorities, the sources said. «Following arrests by the police, the prosecutor issues sectioning orders that force us to lock up drug addicts, alcoholics or mentally ill people,» said Michalis Yiannakos, head of the trade union representing 550 staff at the Dromokaitio Psychiatric Hospital. He said admissions had risen 50 percent in recent days compared to previous months, an increase that led to staff at the hospital stopping work twice this week in protest. The union has threatened further action if judicial and police authorities continue to oblige the hospital to take in people who they said did not belong in mental hospitals.