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HomeBilateral RelationsBanned Far-Right Rallies Spark Clashes, Arrests, in Greek Capital

Banned Far-Right Rallies Spark Clashes, Arrests, in Greek Capital

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Dozen of people were arrested and several injured, including police officers, in clashes between far-right and anti-fascist groups on Wednesday in Athens, where groups gathered to mark the tenth anniversary of the deaths of two far-rightists.

Anti-fascist groups rallied in response to a call by far-right groups to mark the tenth anniversary of the fatal wounding of two members of the now banned far-right Golden Dawn party, following an attack on the party’s offices in Athens.

Despite a police ban on any rallies, anti-fascist protests took place in the Neo Heraklion and Pefkakia districts of Athens. After the rallies ended, violent incidents took place in Victoria Square and Monastiraki, while a video on social networks showed police officers beating a citizen.

The Minister for Citizens Protection, Giannis Oikonomou, called for an investigation. “Regarding material circulating from an incident in Victoria Square, in which police officers and arrestees are involved, I want to point out once again that Greek police must operate based on the laws and official rules. That is why an urgent administrative examination will be conducted,” Oikonomou said.

According to the media, far-right groups later entered a metro train in the city’s Monastiraki area and set it on fire. They also cursed and harassed those who thought they were coming from Neo Heraklion.

In a statement, police said people at Victoria Square had attacked police officers with boxes, stones, and a fire extinguisher, resulting in the slight injury of some officers and damage to two service vehicles.

In Monastiraki station, there were extensive clashes between far-right and anti-fascist groups. A video on the internet shows far-right groups in helmets throwing gasoline with the intention of burning metro cars in Monastiraki.

In total, 60 people were brought in for questioning and 13 arrested for various offences, police said on Thursday.

The police had already taken extensive preventive measures. On Tuesday, 21 Italian members of a fascist organization CasaPound Italia – who had come to participate in the far-right protests – were taken to the Directorate of Foreigners and a deportation process was initiated against them for reasons of national security.

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