Land-grabbing in Pedion tou Areos

It was around 1988 when the Public Real Estate Company, or KED, ceded 0.5 hectares of land to the Panellinios sports club that was arbitrarily taken from the Pedion tou Areos Park. In fact, the sports club had already grabbed that piece of land and the KED move only acknowledged and rewarded the encroachment. But it was not just the land-grabbing. Panellinios went on to build illegal buildings after first removing all trees from the area. The decision ran against the conditions set even by that favorable KED concession. As land-grabbers do, the people of Panellinios actually took the wrongdoing a step further. On Sunday, local residents organized a protest against the loss of the park and Panellinios reacted by calling on riot police to protect its illegally acquired property. It’s frustrating to see that the state, local administration and judicial officials have for so many years failed to curb the wrongdoing by the otherwise likable club.

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