Greece: Squats raided in popular Athens tourist area

December 18, 2019 GMT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Police have detained at least eight people in a central Athens neighborhood after raiding three squats where occupants had been campaigning against short-term vacation rental services that have pushed up rents in the area.

The simultaneous raids occurred early Wednesday in the central Koukaki area of the capital, with police using tear gas and flash grenades to overpower the squatters.

Greece’s five-month-old conservative government has vowed to clear multiple squats in Athens that are often tied to anarchist and far-left protest groups.

Koukaki is a popular destination of tourists using services like Airbnb, helping local businesses and property owners after years of financial crisis but also adding strain on low- and middle-income families.