Greece: anarchists raid Cathedral, 26 arrested

Thessaloniki, August 2, 2016

Greek police have arrested 26 protesters who yesterday
raided the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the northern city
of Thessaloniki during Mass.

The culprits were protesting against a police operation in
the city on Wednesday in which squatters and refugees were
evicted from three illegally occupied buildings.

One of the buildings is the property of the Greek Orthodox
church and the city’s archbishop said that it is being
demolished to build a hospice for the terminally ill. The
archbishop said that the protesters “destroyed what
they could” at the Cathedral yesterday, but did not
elaborate.

The protesters threw leaflets around the Gregory Palamas
Cathedral before those attending Mass managed to drive
them out.

Police said that the group of those arrested, believed to
be anarchists, consisted of 19 men and seven women.
Seventeen were Greek and the others were from Germany,
England, Austria, Switzerland and Morocco.

During Wednesday’s police operation, 74 people had
been arrested, 64 of them foreigners. Thirty-three
refugees were released by police.

Early yesterday, an improvised device also exploded
outside the offices of the construction company
demolishing the church’s property, but did little
damage.

Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece after
Athens. The Cathedral is named after a 14th-century
archbishop of Thessaloniki.

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