Residents seek housing for homeless migrants
Residents and organizations in the central Athens district of Aghios Panteleimonas yesterday appealed to local authorities and the Orthodox Church to donate property to accommodate a burgeoning local population of illegal immigrants, chiefly Afghans. The residents were joined by members of leftist and anti-racist groups as well as politicians in an open debate, held in the district’s central square, about the fate of around 250 Afghan families living in abandoned or rundown apartment blocks. The residents are also requesting the creation of health centers and public toilets for the migrants. In January, riot police were dispatched to the area after members of an extreme-right group and leftists took sides in a protest by residents against the lack of state action to relocate the migrants and stop the district’s degeneration.