The sudden start of construction was, according to Greek media sources designed to forstall any possible injunction by Athens courts over the controversial project. Despite having less green spaces than any other European capital the city of Athens sent in contractors to start clearing the area despite questions over the legality of the work . As a result the forestry commision of the Attiki district, which includes the Greek capital yesterday sued the city of Athens over the destruction of the park.
Athens mayor, Nikitis Kaklamnais, speaking to Skai TV station claimed that only three trees had been cut down and that the other 40 were being transplanted. However, eye witness accounts and pictures taking by local residents seems to cast doubt on the mayor's claims.
Yesterday evening protesters planted 45 sapling to replace the pine trees cut down during the day. Work resumed early this morning however, stopped after two hours amidst protests Unconfirmed reports talk of the presence of members of Greece's ultra-right Chrysi Aygi party taking part in clashes with protesters early this morning. Three residents including local council member, Kostas Lagos have pressed charges after being assaulted.
Local residents have vowed to guard the site and prevent building work from continuing.