Little furniture, but the squatters look after the place.

25-02-2019

Son Coll, the property in Arta that was bought by Boris Becker, has three squatters: Georg Barres, 'Bauchi, aged 44; Michael Haselbach, 'Hassel', 55; and Stefanie Griesbach, 'Steffi', 33. Their backgrounds include work as a carpenter, a painter, a writer, a tattooist, a carer; they are all capable of carrying out restoration work.

The presence of the squatters has been known about for some time. They attract a good deal of interest, especially among the German media. When contact is made with them regarding a report, Bauchi says that they ask for some money. "It's only fair that we make some. They sell and they make their money."

The property is clean and tidy. The pool is clean. The main house has little furniture but its features, such as the chimney decoration, are well looked after. There are four bedrooms and each has an en-suite bathroom.

Bauchi explains that the property was just the sort of place he had been looking for. It was abandoned. No one was living there. There was no water or electricity. It would have deteriorated even more than was the case. He wrote a book in 2015 about finding a place where people live, care for each other, help each other and share with each other. The Becker finca suits that ideal.

After first arriving at Son Coll, Bauchi left for a time. Steffi stayed, and Hassel arrived before he returned. He had thought to have another thirteen people at the finca; instead there are just the three of them. Bauchi soundly rejects any idea that they are some form of sect. "There is no doctrine, no boss. Anyone is welcome here, regardless of nationality, creed or ideology." The most important aspect, he stresses, is the communal and shared way of living.

He accepts that the authorities know full well that they are there. If someone turns up with papers in Becker's name which demand that they go, then they will. "And we will look for somewhere else."