Anarchism in Greece
People familiar with the neighbourhood see a plot to drive out residents and gentrify Exarcheia in the interests of foreign investors and big real estate firms, which, they say, are buying up properties at prices kept low by politicians perpetually linking the district with drug-dealing and petty crime.
Police officers launched a manhunt on Monday evening to locate a man who escaped from the Exarcheia police station in central Athens, where he was being held.
The 39-year-old escapee, identified as a Greek national, had three robbery convictions.
According to information, the suspect asked to go to the toilet and, while being taken, pushed the officer aside and fled.
Around 1,000 protesters marched in downtown Athens on Saturday in a rally organized by several anti-establishment groups protesting the evacuation last month of three squats in the central district of Exarchia that had been home to dozens of refugees and migrants, including families with small children.
There was more upheaval in Exarchia over the weekend, with gangs of self-styled anarchists pelting police officers with firebombs on Sunday night in the latest of a spate of attacks.
A group of around 40 people attacked a riot police unit on Spyrou Trikoupi Street twice on Sunday night following similar raids on Saturday.
Self-styled anarchists lobbed homemade firebombs at a riot police unit stationed near the Athens Polytechnic.
The incident, which took place around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, was followed about half-hour later by an attack on a riot police detachment near the headquarters of socialist PASOK party on Harilaou Trikoupi Street in Exarchia.
There were no reports of arrests or injuries.
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.