Greek residents of the Votanikos area in Athens are occupying the property designated for the erection of an Islamic mosque by the Greek state, protesting against the plan. The residents says they will turn the land into a ‘hotspot’ for homeless Greeks. Members of various groups like ‘The Athina Cultural Association’, the association of reserves ‘Infantry Citizens’ and others said they plan to turn the area into a reception centre for Greeks who have no homes, after the recent ruling by the Council of State for the preparatory works to continue for the building of the mosque. ‘How is it possible that the Greek state, in times of a prolonged crisis, the severity of which is greater than crises in war times to be interested in building a mosque?’, they say. They wonder how it is possible that while thousands of Greeks have no housing and are struggling to survive buildings that could be used to provide shelter are being torn down for the erection of mosques. The extreme right party LEPEN made up of former public Golden Dawn figures is backing the citizens’ protests and announced it would organise a gathering in their support on Wednesday. The ‘New Right’ party, led by former New Democracy MP Failos Krenidiotis, issued a statement stressing it was outrightly opposed to the erection of the mosque. Antiauthoritarian groups announced a counter protest against the LEPEN gathering on Wednesday.