Vandalism of machines that invalidate tickets aboard mass transit buses, trolleys and even metro stations is reaching epidemic proportions in the greater Athens area, with police reports pointing to "crews" of self-styled anarchist and "anti-state" youths raiding the machines and vehicles on a regular basis.
Roughly 100 instances of such vandalism have been recorded over the past two months, according to the president of the union representing technicians at the Athens area's mass transit authority (OASA-OSY).
Union representatives have also demanded action by the relevant transport and public order ministers, Christos Spirtzis and Nikos Toskas, respectively.
In fact, in statements to the media on Thursday, union officials charged that Spirtzis even banned inspectors from checking tickets on buses and trolleys, shortly after the current leftist government assumed power in January 2015.
"We're living in an anarchist-dominated state, where there is no security for the citizen, the passenger or the driver," union president Apostolos Raftopoulos said.
Damages incurred by the bus and trolley operator, including the torching of vehicles in the middle of Athens, now reaches into the millions of euros.
In a later statement, Toskas merely referred to "isolated instances".