As residents of Keratea, southeast of Athens, continued to block the main road connecting the capital to the nearby port of Lavrio in an ongoing protest over the government’s plans to build a landfill in their area, police sources told Kathimerini that the cost of deploying hundreds of riot police officers in the area for more than three months had hit 2.5 million euros.
“If the clashes in Keratea continue for much longer, the cost of policing will exceed the cost of building the landfill,” a high-ranking police source said.
The cost of maintaining a force of some 300 officers to guard a couple of bulldozers that have yet to start digging is estimated to have exceeded 500,000 euros.
Much of this sum includes damage to equipment sustained during vehement clashes between police officers and residents wielding firebombs and stones. Another 2 million euros is believed to have been spent on the officers’ wages.
In comments to the Athens News Agency, Deputy Interior Minister Theodora Tzakri stressed on Sunday that the government would not back down on its plans to build a landfill “in Keratea or anywhere else.”