Most of the 100,000 protestors that took to the centre of Athens Sunday night to protest new austerity measures bills were peaceful, but among them there were a few vandals with masks who tried to burn the city centre.
Who these people are has been debated since May 2010 when they first appeared, causing destruction and the deaths of 3 adults, including a pregnant woman.
Today Athens police gave a list of nationalities, ages and other information for those masked vandals arrested for Sunday night’s events. One third of them are foreigners.
According to police, 53 of those arrested are Greek nationals and 26 are foreigners, including: nine Albanians, four Algerians, one Tunisian, one Moor, two Romanians, two Poles, one Afghan, a Moldovan, four Palestinians and one Iraqi.
The charges against them include attempted murder, attempted serious physical injury, unprovoked bodily harm, theft, disturbing the peace, resistance, insults, as well as offenses involving violations of laws for carrying weapons and explosive materials.
Chief of Greek police Nikos Papagiannopoulos said that there was an organised plan to completely burn the centre of Athens and that “their actions indicate that they were determined to cause human casualties.”
The masked vandals were organised in small attack groups and they used pre-planed ways to prevent the fire-fighters and police from performing their duties. “If we were not successful in acting against them, we would have had many casualties,” added the chief of police.
45 historic buildings were totally destroyed during the rampage by the masked vandals, while 20 banks, 4 bookstores and five shopping centres sustained heavy damages. Bus stops, Metro stations, traffic signals, lighting columns in the municipality an ticket counters, were also heavily damaged, according to Mega TV.
The attacks seriously wounded a total of 109 policemen and 76 civilians.
According to reports, the masked vandals used hammers, crowbars and other equipment in order to break down and remove 40 tons of marble from the facades of hotels, banks, shops and other buildings.
“The marble, apart from a weapon in the hands of masked vandals is the symbol joining modern Athens with its past and it’s also a symbol of urban luxury.” Said architect Dimitris Philippides, to "Ta Nea" Newspaper.
The deputy mayor Andrew Varelas said that Athens should stop dressing the buildings in the centre with marble and he is considering proposing the use of cement, a material that is cheaper and not as dangerous, says "Ta Nea"
Authorities in Athens will continue to work towards assessing the damage, in the coming days and the immediate restoration of the most vital of them.
On Monday, Nea Demokratia President Antonis Samaras stated that “they ruined the city, they ruined the markets, but those scumbags should be aware that the time will come when I will rip the masks off their faces and everyone will see who they are and who is behind them.”
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