Following certain publishings by the President of the company that owns City Plaza, we would like to remind the following:
(for greek click here)
- City Plaza was closed and not in use since 2010.
- Since then, no commercial activity was possible for the hotel without first releasing the equipment of the last occupant which remains to this day inside City Plaza. The last managing company owed a considerable sum of money to its employees and, based on a final judicial decision the equipment of the hotel should have been sold at auction. The proceeds should then have been divided between the employees in order to pay for the wages that they are owed. The president of the SA which owns the City Plaza building did not allow the employees to access the equipment and kept the building locked, in doing so has prevented any auction from taking place since 2010. This led to the economic destitution of the employees and forced them to withdraw their demands so that the owner herself could benefit from the sale of the equipment.
- Due to the fact she was unable to exploit the building for economic gain, taking account of building code violations and other hurdles she would have to overcome in order to rent the building she consciously chose to keep the building locked and the equipment within it as her loot. Our move of occupation aimed to use the building to address the immediate needs of refugees in desperate need of housing. Despite what the owner may claim about the squatting of this building leading to her losing earnings it is clear that had we not occupied this building it would remain shut to this day. This has always been the motivation of the president of this company, to secure gains from exploiting her sizeable assets in every possible way. For this reason her story has been moving in the direction of proving and ensuring income and economic gain which the squat prevents her from accessing. The story and the arguments she uses are well-known: one scenario says that while a buyer has been found for City Plaza, the squat began one day prior to the signing of contracts. The other scenario (which it seems she recently has come to prefer) is that her company had made an agreement with the UNHCR (which the latter denies via the press) to lease the building, but dark renters of power ordered us to destroy this deal between Ms. Papachela’s company and the largest manager of funding for refugees. It is clear that these are justified by the choice made by the president and sole shareholder of the company which owns City Plaza, which is to build a case for lost income which, when eventually examined in court will, with the help of the right people, award her several million as compensation.
- In fact, the timing chosen by the president of the company which owns City Plaza to attack the squat once more as the road to her future economic gain is paved with slander and underestimation of the contribution made by the occupied space, not coincidentally comes at a time when the police and the government leak that a crackdown on refugee squats is imminent, especially City Plaza.
- Concering the story with the water company, the President of the company that owns the hotel sent a nonjudicial notice to the water company since the first day City Plaza was squatted. Because of this, she knows very well that her company will not have to pay a single cent of any of the bills, yet she still continues to use this false claim to spread propaganda.
- The president of the company claims that she is being threatened, when refugees and solidarians express their support for City Plaza. She, however, along with her cronies, threaten and personally insult everyone who dares express their support for City Plaza and on a daily basis aims slurs at them and their families. Threats reminiscent of Golden Dawn (e.g., I would go in with some muscle men and kill them all) do not scare us, they enrage us. Government leaks on the evacuation of refugee squats do not faze us, they motivate and empower us.
Finally, we take full responsibility for transforming an empty abandoned building into a home of solidarity and dignity for over 1500 refugees over 20 months to date at a time when the state and the NGOs involvement has left a wake of wretchedness, imprisonment, and racism. The right of empty and unused buildings to remain empty and unused is, in our view, clearly subordinate to the right of thousands of people to dignity. For this reason, we sought to transform a dark and deprived corner of Acharnon into a place full of life, creativity, and resistance.
We would like to point out once more that we are not claiming ownership of the building, we are simply using it. Refugee Accommodation Space City Plaza is a workshop of solidarity and resistance. All of us who are taking part in it have the power and determination to guard it against the threats of the state and the shadow state. We will continue to fight against the anti-refugee policies of the Greek government and the EU, against the EU-Turkey deal and against racism and xenophobia.
January 23rd, 2018
Acharnon 78, Athens
Refugee Accommodation and Solidarity Space City Plaza