NEWS

Police open probe into controversial comments of union official

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Greek police on Monday ordered a disciplinary inquiry into the deputy head of the officers' POASY union, who described migrants as “dust” and anarchists as “garbage” during a television show.

Police announced earlier in the day that a sweep on squats in the downtown Athens district of Exarchia resulted in the removal of 143 foreign nationals from four occupied buildings. Three people have been detained, two Greeks and a foreign national, according to a police statement.

Three of the squats, located on Spyrou Trikoupi and Fotila streets, had been hosting undocumented migrants and refugees.

The migrants were transferred to the Aliens' Bureau on Petrou Ralli street for identification and will be subsequently transferred to state facilities.

Speaking on a morning news program on SKAI, Stavros Balaskas described the police raid as a “silent vacuum cleaner” which will gradually “suck up all the garbage in Exarchia, in a progressive, democratic way.”

Asked to clarify his statement, he said: “Of course we don't mean these people [migrants] who are a dust, which may be annoying, but is not significant in Exarchia. We mean the real garbage in the other 10 squats, which are run by hardened criminals, extreme leftists, extreme anarchists, particular people.”

A file on the inquiry, which was ordered by the head of police, Stavros Balaskas, will also be sent to the Athens prosecutor's office, according to a police statement.