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Pizzeria Anarchia eviction cost €870,000

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Pizzeria Anarchia eviction cost €870,000
The scene in Mühlfeldgasse. Photo: APA/HERBERT OCZERET
14:26 CEST+02:00
The cost of the police eviction of the ‘Pizzeria Anarchia’ squat in Vienna’s 2nd district came to €870,000, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) has revealed.

In response to a parliamentary question she said that 1,454 police officers were on duty on July 28th, when police evicted 19 squatters in an operation that lasted more than ten hours.

Many of the police were dressed in riot gear and equipped with an armoured car and water hoses.

Responding to a question by Greens MP Peter Pilz, about how many police there were "per squatter", Mikl-Leitner said that was hard to say as there were around 100 people in the Mühlfeldgasse, where the eviction took place, who were not police.

Numerous onlookers had gathered in the street, including journalists.

The house had been occupied by the activists for over two years. The owners of the building actually invited them to move into an empty apartment, in November 2011, for six months.

The place was badly in need of renovations and the owners hoped that the anarchists would scare off the older tenants who were refusing to move, and clear the way for a new real estate project.

However, the squatters became sympathetic to the tenants' plight, and decided to stay - so the owners requested they be evicted.

It is not clear if the owners will be asked to cover all, or some, of the cost of the police operation. Mikl-Leitner said an audit is currently being done.

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