Anti-riot police forces are to withdraw from Keratea, eastern Attica, where protests against the construction of a garbage processing plant by local residents continued for the past four months, it was announced on Monday after a meeting between Citizens' Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis and Lavreotiki Mayor Costas Levantis.

Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki served as a mediator during the meeting.

“Having dialogue is very hard in cases where passions run high and dogmatism is a longstanding practice…Creative and appeasing interventions such the one coming from Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki are necessary to have results,” Papoutsis said after the meeting at his office in the ministry building in Athens.

Riot police started withdrawing from the area on the condition that local residents remove barricades, thus ending a months-long standoff, and opening the way to new proposals and a re-examination of the issue.

A specific proposal on waste management will be presented by Levantis and a delegation of local residents in the meeting they will have next Thursday with the environment minister and other government officials, Papoutsis said.