Police in full riot gear guard a building in Metaxourgeio, central Athens, yesterday after removing squatters who had taken over the abandoned dwelling belonging to the Athens City Council. The municipality has earmarked the site for a new art gallery in a 6-million-euro project that will be partially funded with EU funds. Council officials said they called in the police after repeatedly attempting to remove the squatters without success over the last year. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis said that authorities would not resort to violence to remove the squatters and that no charges have been pressed against them. Another two buildings in central Athens belonging to the council have also been taken over by homeless youths. Municipal authorities have described living conditions in the buildings as dangerous.