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Aliki Papachela: I was asking for justice from the government and prosecutors but I saw that the doors were closed



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Saturday 5 December 2020, 00:02

Aliki Papachela: I was asking for justice from the government and prosecutors but I saw that the doors were closed

I had three evacuation warrants, a county court order and possession ordering the hotel to be evacuated and returned to me, too many lawsuits, but the police and the previous government refused to enforce any of them. “Every time I had meetings with ministers and officials at that time, they replied, ‘we don’t want to and we won’t empty it,'” Aliki Papachela told liberal.gr. “The government’s plan at the time was to resolve the issue of refugees,” he added.

She is the owner of the City Plaza hotel, for which the State of Greece is required to pay 312,500 euros, following her conviction by the European Court of Human Rights. For three years the Greek state did nothing to return its possessions occupied by refugees with the help of unity.

Interview with George Fintikakis

You had previously complained that despite prosecution orders and a court decision, however, the police never intervened to evacuate the building …

There are many people responsible for occupying the City Plaza hotel. The issue, as is clear from the Court’s historic ruling, is that the state must protect my rights and forever. Such is the right to property, ie Article 1 of the Charter of Human Rights. But he didn’t protect me. We had three evacuees prosecutors, a county court order and occupation that the hotel was evacuated and returned to me, too many lawsuits, but the police and the previous government refused to enforce any of them. The Court’s decision is based there.

Why do you think the authorities at the time refused to intervene and return your property to you?

Because obviously this was the government’s plan at the time to solve the refugee problem. This is how he chose to deal with the refugee crisis. I remind you that another 45 buildings were occupied after my hotel …

In an earlier interview with “F”, you mentioned that the squatters had a large German MKO behind them who funded them and secured the political vocation from SYRIZA …

Yes, that’s exactly what happened, as far as the NGO was concerned, Medico International. In all the cases when I had meetings with ministers and officials at that time, I got the same answer, “we don’t want it and we won’t empty it”. And obviously this was all happening in consultation. SYRIZA had decided to treat the refugee in this way.

What do you keep from all this adventure?

First of all, the great moral satisfaction after what he suffered. It is also important that the decision was announced in a very short period of time, something unprecedented for the Court. It is different to wait ten years to be justified and different for it to happen after two years. As for the damages, the financial damage is not covered at any level with the money I was awarded. Only the damage recorded at the hotel by the certified expert exceeds 1.5 million euros. 300,000 euros is a rather symbolic sum.

The conclusion of this whole story is that we have a decision that condemns the country itself, because it has not been able to defend one of the most fundamental rights of its citizen, property. The rationale for the decision is important. Condemns Greece for violating the right to protect property for three years because of the occupation of the applicants hotel by immigrants and a group of people acting in solidarity with them. And condemning a country by the Court of Human Rights is very important, as it sets a precedent.

Whether SYRIZA or ND governs, the job of the state is to protect the citizens and their interests. When this is not done, despite the opposite happening and leading them to ruin, someone has to pay.

I think we couldn’t have reached the sentence. The country could have made a compromise under the ECtHR procedure and agreed with us an amount of compensation, which we had offered. If this had happened, Greece would not have been condemned. We had offered a compromise in December 2019, but the State rejected and reiterated the same proposals as in the past, namely that if the hotel were to evacuate, the country would be in a state of crisis, causing social unrest, etc. .

What will be your next steps after the Court decision?

The procedure states that the Greek government may request that the case be brought to the plenary session of the Court of Human Rights within three months of the decision being announced. This means a two month delay, after which there will be an additional three months until payment is made. The sentence, however, is valid anyway. From now on I will file lawsuits against the State of Greece for my full compensation.

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