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Greeks blockade courts to stop foreclosure auctions

Protest groups in Greece are trying to halt auctions of foreclosed homes by picketing courthouses.

Each Wednesday groups blockade courthouses around the country, sometimes necessitating police intervention.

Public officials often stay home to avoid the trouble, so the sales cannot be held.

One group, I Won’t Pay, claims it has halted 4,000 actions per year in the past three years with its protests.

For decades Greek banks lent generously, using property as guarantee.

When the global economic crisis hit Greece, banks were left exposed and had to foreclose.

The government initially promised to protect homes, but as the crisis worsened, the government had to renege.

Greeks are traditionally very attached to their homes. Thus began the weekly protests to stop the bank auctions.

The Greek government plans to circumvent the protesters by holding electronic auctions.

Leonidas Papadopoulos, leader of the protest group I Won’t Pay, said, “If something like that happens Greek society will be destabilized.

“Greeks, Greek families, are closely attached to their homes, there will be unforeseen developments, there will be a social explosion.”

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