The Greek Police (ELAS) on Monday activated a much-touted plan to evacuate squats in abandoned buildings in the downtown Athens district of Exarchia.
The operation, which began at the crack of dawn, led to the removal of 143 migrants from two of four occupied buildings located on Spyrou Trikoupi, Kallidromiou and Fotila streets.
The evictees – 35 of which are minors – consist of migrant and refugee families from Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Turkey, and were staying at two squats on Spyrou Trikoupi and Fotila.
All of them were transferred to the Aliens’ Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street for identification. Most have already applied for asylum and will be transferred to state-run shelters.
The other two buildings that were cleared, on Kallidromiou Street, had been occupied by self-styled anarchists. Police arrested two Greeks, aged 41 and 57, and a 65-year-old French national at one of them. They have been charged with disturbing the peace.
The 65-year-old had been arrested and later released in connection with attacks in July on the Acropolis police precinct in central Athens, while the 41-year-old was among 394 anarchists arrested during a riot police operation at the historic Athens Polytechnic building in 1995.
The Kallidromiou Street building where the three were staying had been raided periodically by police in the past.
In one of those operations, in 2017, police arrested two German and two Greek suspected anarchists and confiscated homemade firebombs.
One of the two Greeks had also been accused of being a member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire terror group but the charges were later dropped.