Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis has promised the city’s residents that by Christmas the city’s central Omonia Square will open to the public, cleaner and safer than ever before thanks to an ongoing municipal overhaul program.
Speaking on SKAI, Bakoyannis said the municipality would be channelling 40 million euros into walkways, 42 million euros into road works, and added that 150 sensors would be installed at pedestrian crossings for the disabled and mobility impaired which will notify police if vehicles are illegally parked there.
Besides the cleaning, lighting, and road works, the mayor promised a new and improved Omonia Square.
“Omonia is landmark, it’s alive again, and we have lots of work to do,” Bakoyannis said, adding that in the coming months at least 10 hotels will be opening in the Omonia area, with over 2,000 rooms.
We must proceed with “not a decade’s, but a century’s” worth of works, said Bakoyannis, referring to the city’s redevelopment program.
The mayor went on to add that the municipality was working together with the citizens protection ministry to ensure public safety. In this direction, he said, the police were carrying out evacuations of abandoned buildings and patrols are now being implemented in areas around Omonia Square.
The National Garden and the Lycabettus Hill area are next on the city’s list of cleaning and lighting projects, and added that for the neglected Pedion tou Areas Park – which has repeatedly been the subject of disagreement between responsible authorities leading to its decay – he again has requested from Attica Regional Governor George Patoulis to hand over the park’s jurisdiction to the City of Athens.
In order to meet the increased work load, Bakoyannis also announced the opening of 300 new positions with the municipality and the purchase of new equipment as well as the repair and cleaning of 18,000 Athens water drainage structures.