That was fairly hot during the last hours in Athens, with unionists occuping the headquarters of Public Electricity Company, unknown arsonists to have caused a blast in a Tram wagon, unknown attackers to have attacked a local Golden Dawn branch, and several protests launched by professional and society groups here and there. Pensioners set an EU flag on fire to protest pensions and health care cuts.
The “big event” of anti-austerity outbreak was the occupation of a building of Public Electricity Company (DEH/DEI) by the unionists of GENOP-DEI.
Several dozens unionists occupied the building of DEH data processing centre at Mesogeion Avenue on Sunday evening, about 8 pm. According to union president Nikos Fotopoulos, the unionists occupied the building in order to find evidence that DEH had reduced the emergency property tax to be paid by large companies.
“It should be noted that the previous Greek government decided to reduce by 30% the emergency property tax for corporate building over 1,000 sq.m. and 50% for those over 2,000 sq.m. so that big companies won’t get burdened with the emergency property tax and work place be at risk.” (Ethnos.gr)
Fotopoulos also denounced of cases where big companies were exempted form this extra tax and some homeowners declared their homes as “business places” in order to be exempted form the tax payment. The emergency property tax is a “scandal against poor people,” said Fotopoulos, who is claimed to politically flirt with left-wing SYRIZA.
The occupation lasted several hours, until riot police got the order to bring an end to the issue. In the early hours of Monday, the police broke the occupation and arrested 18 unionists charging them with disturbing the peace.
Golden Dawn Branch: The office of the far right party Golden Dawn in Alimos, southern Athens, was vandalized early on Sunday. Police said that assailants broke into the office at about 4 a.m. and caused widespread damage. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported as the office was empty at the time of the raid.
Tram attack: An elderly female tram passenger escaped unscathed when arsonists attacked a tram in southern Athens early on Monday. The tram was set to leave the terminal at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Neo Faliro when 5 minutes before 6 a.m. three people wearing hoods smashed a window and threw an incendiary device made from camping gas canisters inside a carriage. There are reports that the arsonists had five gas canisters and that they asked the woman to leave the tram before they staged the attack. The ensuing fire was put out by the fire service but not before the seats in the carriage had been destroyed. The incident has affected tram services on the line. (ekathimerini, newsit)
Pensioners Against EU: Pensioners clashed with riot police on Monday morning when they tried to reach the office of the European Union and protest about cuts in pensions and health care.
The elderly were not intimidated by the police shields, they managed to pass through the police wall and come outside the EU office, where they set an EU flag on fire.
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Monday is expected to keep the “high temperature” as unions will hold a protest rally at Syntagma Square at 6 pm today.
But tomorrow, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visis Athens, the Greek capital will resemble a war-zone with thousands expected to join the mass protest, riot police, snipers and helicopters to safe guard the head of German government.