The district of Agios Panteleimon turned into a “battlefield” during the last days after the attack against a local hairdresser that sparked a storm of reactions by residents and provided opportunity to right-wing extremists to start violent actions against migrant vendors, with the pictures of the damages to remind one of ‘pogroms’ against Greeks in the 50’s in Istanbul and Jews in Germany in the 30’s.
On Friday night an angry mob of some 100 people started to smash the windows of shops belonging to migrants. Soon the situation went out of control with the effect that almost every shop with name and signboard in foreign letters became target of the attackers like an internet cafe, a grocery store… Shop equipment was destroyed, while there are also reports of some looting.
In the turmoil, a migrant of Algerian origin was found stabbed and was rushed to the hospital. His condition is stable.
The incidents that started at the corner Acharnon & Agiou Meletioy streets started with a small group of residents to protest the increasing of crime in the area. Soon the number of protesters grew from 30 to 100. At the same time, migrant residents had started to gather to protest attacks against them.
Eye-witnesses report that the mob chased migrants, while some were threatened with knives.
Greek police that was deployed in the area fired tear gas to disperse the angry crowd and detained 12 people. It is not known whether the detainees were Greeks, foreigners or both.
Cause for the violent outbreak was an incident two days earlier where a robber broke into a hairdresser salon in the nearby Michail Voda street and attacked the hairdresser with a knife. The culprit was allegedly from Africa.
PS it is interesting that while the government is pushing through the parliament the 3rd loan agreement against the Greek citizens, some citizens of this country violently attack the foreigners instead of staging peaceful protests against the government.
UPDATE: Also on Saturday night, residents and extremists gathered to protest the increasing crime and according to media reports, the mob smashed also entrance of homes where migrants live in.
‘Protesters’ chant the ancient Spartans war slogan “Η ταν ή επι τας” – “Either it or on it” – either you bring back the shield, or you are brought back on it [dead].