Meet Keratea: Greece's War Zone

Tyler Durden's picture

One of the more interesting "war zones" that most have never heard of is not in North Africe, nor in the Middle East, but in Greece. Meet Keratea, a small city of 15,000 people located close to Athens, where after over 100 days of struggle between authorities and the broder population, the riot police has officially decided to abdicate the city to its fate in what is the first popular mini-revolution in the developed world. From the Independent: "As explosions boom, the town's loudspeakers blare: "Attention! Attention! We are under attack!" Air-raid sirens wail through the streets, mingling with the frantic clanging of church bells. Clouds of tear gas waft between houses as helmeted riot police move in to push back the rebels. This isn't a war zone, but a small town just outside Athens. And while its fight is about a rubbish dump, it captures Greece's angry mood over its devastated economy. As unemployment rises and austerity bites ever harder, tempers seem to fray faster in Greece, with citizens of all stripes thumbing their noses at authority. Some refuse to pay increased highway tolls and public transport tickets. There has been a rise in politicians being heckled and even assaulted. Yesterday, in Thessalonika, scores of activists were arrested after violent clashes with police." Meet the new and improved face of austerity: now in a small town in Greece, which is about to default all over again, and soon in many other places in the increasingly more insolvent European periphery.

The anger is most palpable in Keratea, a town of 15,000 people 30 miles south of Athens which appears to have spun out of control. The state's attempt to start work on a planned landfill site on a nearby hillside in December caused locals to set fire to construction vehicles and erect massive roadblocks on a road that bypasses the town and runs to the capital. It's a fight that has galvanised the town, from the mayor and the local priest to shopkeepers, farmers, schoolteachers and teenagers.

Within hours, the confrontation degenerated. Masked youths hurled firebombs and rocks at riot police, who responded with rubber batons and repeated volleys of tear gas. A police helicopter circled overhead. "The town is out of control. Business activity has stopped," said Yannis Adamis, a resident and mechanical engineer. "The stores are closed. The sirens are blaring, the [church] bells are ringing, people are on the streets. This cannot continue."

In nearby streets, gaggles of teenage girls, cut lemons held to their noses to ward off tear gas, mingled with young men in balaclavas, stocking up on rocks to throw at police. An elderly man wielding a shepherd's staff stormed past. "We've learned at the age of 60 about Molotov cocktails," he thundered through his gas mask – an accessory sported by young and old alike. He would give only his first name, Panagiotis. By the end of the night, more than 20 people – including three riot policemen – had been treated in hospital. Just after midnight, a police officer's home was attacked with firebombs, leaving three cars destroyed. The officer and his wife, who is also in the police force, and their four children were home at the time but unharmed, police said.

The city's fate had been to be relegated to an Athens trash dump expansion:

A government spokesman, Giorgos Petalotis, condemned the violence, and
said the government had no intention of abandoning its plans to build
the landfill site, which it said would ease problems at Athens's single
rubbish dump. "We are the only authority that has comprehensive plans
for [greater Athens] regional development. We will not abandon the
effort that has been made and is currently being made to build this new
facility," he said.

That fate is now over: As Occupied London reports, the city is now in the hand of the rioters.

As announced a few hours ago, the ministry of citizen protection announced its plan to withdraw all police forces from Ovriokastro and Keratea. It has also been decided that the construction machinery will be withdrawn from the area and that the ministry of environment will enter into negotiations with the municipality.

At 17.08 GMT+2, the largest part of the riot police forces had withdrawn from Keratea.

There is a feeling of victory running across the barricades of Keratea as the police buses leave. Is this a victory for the people of Keratea? Or a tactical move on the side of the government, ahead of the easter break?

So what happens next, aside from Athens being forced to breathe in its own squalor? As more see the example of the Keratea rebellion, ever more of the population first in Greece, and soon in other "oppressed" by austerity countries will resort to the same methods. What does this mean for economic growth in Europe. We will likely discover soon enough although not before the sellside advises us how this is all very bullish for long term growth. After all, think of all the Keynesian economic boosts and inventory destocking provided from constantly replacing Molotov cocktail ingredients.

In other words, get familiar with this imagery...

h/t dnarby

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redpill's picture

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov could have never possibly imagined that his name would be forever ironically linked with the concept of struggle against authority.

serotonindumptruck's picture

It's somewhat refreshing to read about the basic formula/composition of such a simple and effective improvised incindiary device...on Wikipedia.

I have some suggestions for enhanced effectiveness of these particular weapons, however perhaps I should refrain from stating them here, out of respect for Tyler. Wiki mentions several ingredients that are known to increase efficacy, such as simple detergents or pieces of vulcanized rubber.

Do your own DD on this topic.

pesamystik's picture

This video also rocks, night and day they battled the Greek riot police in Karetea with lasers and molotovs. Low-tech but highly effective.

No American Idol in Greece. What the fuck do they put in the water over there? These people do not fuck around.

OldTrooper's picture

I don't know, but they've been drinking it for a while.  Just ask Darius or Xerxes.  It's nice to see people who refuse to back down.  There may be hope for humans after all.

Worker Bee's picture

More power to them...never happen here though.

Problem Is's picture

Cut off the beer, donuts and the cable and it might...

steve2241's picture

They certainly have been drinking it for a while. The family of one of my parent's hail from Greece. I remember visiting the country almost twenty years ago. The impression I was left with is that they all seemed to be arguing with one another! Maybe it has to do with a culture of bargaining for all/most/some of their daily needs. As opposed to the United States, where we pay whatever the price tag says. One is a society that breeds passivity, the other NOT. Greece is also a country in which it tops the charts, worldwide, in tobacco consumption. The side effect of nicotine is distinctly not passivity. That's my take on the situation.

Dorotheo Arango's picture

What the fuck do they put in the water over there?

Think again, its is more like -What the fuck do they don't put in the water over there?- Greeks are just well fed humans.

The old dominant species of the planet. If you don't have the strength to fight back, check your food and water... You will be surprised.

Creed's picture

pigs? what are you, a 60's reject?

andybev01's picture

Probably a fan of Angry Birds.

nmewn's picture

Everything old is new again...people with flowers in their hair up next, denouncing all violence, after burning everything around them's a commune-icable disease...or sumpin ;-)

Chuck Walla's picture

Oh, the triumphal return of Billy the Bomber Ayres! Friend of Communist Revolutionaries and Presidents alike!

nmewn's picture

Seems so.

It's like whaaa?...all this lavish state debt issuance has some consequence?...but what about all my stuff?

pesamystik's picture

Pigs are officers who take the wrong side of the law. These officers are not looking out for their fellow citizens, they're only there to serve and protect the interests of the people looking to install a landfill pretty god damn close to a major town in Greece.

The majority of Greek police are pigs. Instead of turning on their masters and storming parliament where the real criminals are, they turn on their fellow citizens.

This is why we call police pigs. They look up the shoplifters and let the big fish get away scott free.

New_Meat's picture

pisses me off on so many levels. - Ned

vxpatel's picture

It's nice to see civilians with the will to power to fight back against heavily armed thugs.

Sudden Debt's picture

They where blindsighted untill the end.

The frauds took the money and gave them change to shut up AND THEY DID.

Now the frauds have left the country and it's in ruins.


To little To late....



Bob's picture

We take our your trash . . . we guard you while you sleep . . . do not fuck with us.

srelf's picture

Is that a quote from MLK during the Memphis sanitation workers strike?

FIAT_FixItAgainTony's picture

amen to that!  come on america, fester up some testicles already!

rEvoLt bItcHeZ !

Sutton's picture

It's all coming here.

Our children are not getting the bill.

We are.

cossack55's picture

I am more than ready to pay. I'm looking forward to it.  Actually its more of a payback.

readytoleave's picture

cossack --- I hope that your opinion is shared by many.....


I hope that there are thousands of strong men and women truly ready to restore the greatest nation to its people. 


I hope that all reading these posts share their insight with everyone…..


The hard working -- decent people of this nation are going to have to fight to take it back.  Right here --- in our states, in our towns, in our backyards.


This isn’t just payback -- we can’t leave this mess to our children – we have to start the fight now…

Blotsky's picture

Who do the police officers care about most in a situation like this? Themselves and their family. Not you and not me. Because no matter what anyone says, in the end when the common folk are without a home or food, the "Good ole Boys" will be taken care of, as long as they "keep the peace".

I would gladly take up against those who say they are there to "serve and protect" because you can bet your bottom dollar that the "Good ole Boys" will be there to "serve and protect" TPTB not us. So when it does get here, remember who it is that gets screwed in the end.

eatthebanksters's picture

When the shit hits the fan, the police and military will wait for it all to burn itself out before they move in...just like the Rodney King riots...they know you can't stop an avalanche once it starts.  When the killing is done and things have cooled down, they will move in to maintain the new order.  Make your plans...hopefully this never comes to pass, but the the probability now is much greater than it was 12 months ago...if you own a home you have insurance, eh?   So why not make your own policy?

FIAT_FixItAgainTony's picture

yep, it's on.  it's been on.  in the states where the union bargaining rights are being taken away, it is easier to have the police on our side.

you can present a very convincing arguement to a policeman by starting off the conversation with how you think their union is being screwed and you don't think it's fair to those who risk their lives to protect.

they can't answer poorly to the statement, whether you believe in your statement or not.  starting points.  always useful.

this can be done and to get started one needs to turn off the damn tee vee!

police on our side helps immensely.  thanks to the politicians, they made our job easier for us.

funny how this all works to a full circle isn't it?

serotonindumptruck's picture

I've worked a great deal of emergency incidences with LEO's. There's a good reason why people choose to make a career of law enforcement. It's because, for the most part, they're too incompetent to do anything else for a living. If there's one thing I can tell people, it's that most all LEO's tend to have a huge egos, and if you stroke it just right, you can talk your way out of almost anything (provided you're not intoxicated).

They get off on fear and intimidation. Be respectful, but show no fear. Try to ignore the uniform, and speak to them as if they are the king-shit-of-the-universe that they think they are.

Many LEO's are very proud of their patrol vehicles. Compliment them on how quickly they caught up with you during that traffic stop. ("Damn bro, what do you have under that hood? You are QUICK!") Lay it on thick, but try to be convincing in your compliments. They've all got a highly tuned bullshit-detector.

MilleniumJane's picture

I junked you in defense of the good LEO's who are out there...the ones who are not incompetent and who chose a life of public service because it was their calling.  It is like saying all soldiers are babykillers.  I agree that there are LEO's who are on a major power trip.  I grew up in a law enforcement household and have known officers who are decent and hardworking citizens.  I also knew an undersheriff who broke a man's neck in the processing room just because he could do it.  The decent officers refused to protect their boss and the victim won his lawsuit.  It will be the good officers we will rely upon during these hard times.  They are going to be between a rock and a hard place and will have to choose sides, but I'm betting that most will be brave and side with the people. We are already starting to see this among judges regarding foreclosures.  I think a lot of the problems we are seeing with the different systems in our country is the result of spinoff from the top down.  The disease has spread and the sociopaths have taken positions of power.  The people are beginning to see:  blinders are being lifted and all will have to account for their actions from now on.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Who gets to decide who the "good" LEO's are? You? You're tainted with the disease of fascism. Bow down and lick the hand that feeds you, bitch.

eatthebanksters's picture

shotgun, colt 45 with extra magazines, rice, beans and flour for a year (hunting rifle as well), seeds, H2 loaded up and ready to roll, secret spot away from the madness already picked out...I'm ready

rich_maverick's picture

I concur, 

   But, that is for the best.  Our children should not have to pay for our complacency.  We have been conned, robbed, and have had our freedoms taken away while we have been entertained by our televisions.  Huxley's Brave New World came to fruition.  Unfortunately, as the next stage, Orwell's 1984 is also being instituted.  We either fight back (by choosing not to play this game), or accept our fate (and our children's fate) as slaves.

Freddie's picture

Idiots brainwashed by TV.  All of it is for Mugabe and the elites.  It could be 200 channels of Stalin just a bit more subtle.  Americans and others traded freedom for HD.

Bob's picture

We take our your trash . . . we guard you while you sleep . . . do not fuck with us.

dbTX's picture

Soon to be seen in a town near you

Pchelar's picture

Molon labe!

I love the smell of NIMBY in the morning...

OldTrooper's picture

Nice!  Bonus points for getting in an appropriate Apocalypse Now reference. 

Volaille de Bresse's picture

Europe started in Greece, it'll end there.

"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes"

topcallingtroll's picture

This is just a bargaining ploy to get better restructuring terms.

plocequ1's picture

Gerald Celente: " When you have nothing to lose, You lose it"

FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Unless we see central bankers, bankers, politicians or news anchors from main stream media hanging from lamp posts... this all means nothing. The powers that be are laughing at this.

TheGreatPonzi's picture


The sad part is that nobody has the guts to murder anymore. All violent revolutionary groups, from the Brigades Rouges to Action Directe, died at the turn of the century. 

Holodomor2012's picture

My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth.

Saxxon's picture

+1 but we are in the early innings.

topcallingtroll's picture

Maybe it is no longer necessary to kill a bunch of.people. we have had quite a few relatively bloodless revolutions.