Greek police on Thursday removed over 230 illegal migrants, including dozens of children, from two squats in the Greek capital, as part of a clean-up drive initiated by Greece’s new government.
According to reports, 236 people, including 35 children, were removed and taken to the police headquarters in Athens for identification.
Police authorities have declined to give any details, however, footage taken by local Greek media shows migrants who are mostly Afghan and Syrian, boarding buses with their belongings.
Local residents who live close to the squats told reporters there was a lot of violence and crime taking place amongst the migrants, with arguments breaking out into the streets during the early hours of the morning and neighbours hearing loud screaming on a daily basis.
The crackdown has been opposed by anti-establishment and rights groups who say the operations unfairly target migrant families, who would otherwise be homeless.
Greece’s new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Athens’ newly elected Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis have vowed to combat “lawlessness”.
Bakoyannis argues that order must be restored before landmarks such as the National Archaeological Museum and the Athens Polytechnic, in the middle of drug-trading areas, can become safe spots for tourists to visit again.