Greece Airbnb-Police remove anarchists opposing Airbnb in Athens

Police remove anarchists opposing Airbnb in Athens

Police launched an operation Monday to remove anarchists occupying several houses in central Athens in opposition to the spread of Airbnb in the Greek capital.

Some 10 people were detained in an early morning police raid on three homes located in Exarcheia and Koukaki, areas where short term rentals to tourists have been booming. According to some press reports, police found materials one of the premises that could be used to make molotov cocktails.

Located close to the Acropolis, Koukaki has become one of the most popular spots for Athens visitors, while the bohemian district of Exarcheia is also drawing strong interest due to its position in the heart of the city.

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Faced with rising taxes amidst Greece's austerity drive, many Greek property owners have jumped on the Airbnb bandwagon but local residents are complaining of being squeezed out of their neighborhoods as fewer homes are rented out on a regular long term basis.

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Called the Commmunity of Occupiers Koukaki, the anarchist group in Koukaki took over an abandoned home in November, saying that whole neighborhoods are being turned into hotels and tourism resorts that only serve the needs of consumerism.

"The development of cities is the death of the last form of social living," the group said in a statement. "Occupations are the last line of defense."