NEWS

Solution found in Exarchia Square

Owners of clubs in another central Athens square appear to have found a way to deal with organized extortion rackets. Exarchia Square is the traditional haunt of anarchist groups who have worked with local business owners to protect their property. As a result, at least over the past decade, not a single protection racket has appeared in the neighborhood. «We are obliged to choose doormen and security guards from the local area. If I bring in an outsider, the other business owners will ask me why – not to mention the fact that my premises could be set on fire by anarchists,» said the owner of a popular bar in Exarchia. «One of the most powerful businessmen in the district, who owns several bars and restaurants, came to an agreement with the major racketeers, convincing them to stay away. We have employed the rest, usually heavily built hooligans trying to scare one of the bar owners into paying them. We use them in our businesses or as security guards at concerts,» he added.