Citizens living in the center of Athens consider themselves “prisoners” in their own homes. According to the inhabitants of the area stretching near Omonia, they were victims of the refusal of the competent authorities to do their job and live “like normal people”.
Omonia Square has become a haven for outcasts and groups of criminal elements. In addition, on the streets you can often meet a drug addict injecting himself with a dose, right in front of passers-by, women and children.
Residents of the district complain that in recent years they have witnessed how the territory of the center of the capital has turned into a ghetto of lawlessness and crime, as a result of which they do not dare to leave their homes, and when they do, they must endure everything that happens, often right on the steps of the entrance to the house. Drug addicts threaten the peace of citizens, and sometimes they are ready to do anything to get money for a joint.
As for the state “contribution” to their problem. “Police patrols pass by, make some noise and leave,” Dimitris Kollios, one of those who have the misfortune of owning a house on Satovriadu Street, told Democracy. Despite the constant efforts of the peace officers, the only thing they have achieved is the role of a “spectator” in the ping-pong of duties that civil services throw to each other, but in the end they do not solve problems.
The situation is not improving, but getting worse and worse. And, as Mr. Kollios mentions, in the last six months, both access and life in his house has been not only difficult, but also scary. The main reason is the penetration of drug addicts into the territory, who, as he notes, have recently been gathering in groups and sitting for days near his apartment building (as well as neighboring ones), using drugs. Dirty rags with blood, feces, urine, syringes, food leftovers (by the way, issued to them by an organization that feeds the homeless) are scattered everywhere at the place of their lodging for the night.
His testimony to Democracy is truly shocking:
“At the moment, if I go down, they are all gathered near the gas burner, heating syringes, brewing a potion. Others have already taken a dose and are “dragging along” while in a narcotic trance. And if you ask to be let through (in order to freely leave the house without stepping on someone), then you must first assess the situation, whether it is dangerous or not. This is what happened recently: “I was leaving the house, and my neighbor and her son were walking towards me. When I tried to open the door, there were three people on the stairs, I told them to leave, but suddenly they got angry and threw a small gas gun at me. a cylinder that hit the door glass, which is still broken.”
The lawlessness does not stop there. Residents even receive threats: “One night, returning from work, I heard a noise in the yard. This, as always, cursed drug addicts, apparently, did not share the dose. I told them that I would call the police. But in response, I heard only abuse and threats.
The unfortunate Mr. Kollios went so far as to send his children to the village so that they would not be in danger, because when he goes to work, his teenage children do not dare to leave the entrance to take a walk, meet friends, that is, live a normal life and doing things that are quite common for any young person at their age.
Residents of the district collected signatures and through a lawyer sent a protest to the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as well as to the Ministry of Health Thanos Plevris and Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis. However, the situation, as he notes, remained the same, only drug addicts were “removed” from the street. Halkokondyli, where a new hotel has opened. And that is all.
He continues that “police patrols pass by, make noise and leave,” and residents, whether they call 100 or not, feel equally defenseless. The citizen notes that next to “all this lawlessness” that is happening in front of everyone, in front of the Church of St. Constantine, there is often a police car with two or three policemen who do not care what happens 50 meters from them and further, on Satovriadu Street . When the man turned to the police in desperation, he was told that this was “a matter exclusively for the municipality.”
Residents’ letters sent to all competent authorities express their indignation at the outrageous situation. The dispatch states, among other things: “Having exhausted our patience, we are compelled to present you with the facts, thus expressing our deep concern and strong indignation at the illegal and dangerous activities of marginalized individuals in our area.
In particular, cases of robberies of houses, private businesses and private cars are a daily occurrence, and the actions of gangs and pickpockets have forced us to avoid walking along the streets and squares, as well as using public transport. These recurring incidents are now a sad and extremely dangerous daily routine for permanent residents and workers in the area. All this makes our life simply unbearable.