New scheme to save city cen­ter

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Mea­sures aimed at im­prov­ing safety and the qual­ity of life in cen­tral Athens are due to be an­nounced by the gov­ern­ment to­day in the wake of the mur­der of a 44-year-old man last week that sparked protests and racial ten­sion in this be­lea­guered part of the cap­i­tal.

Sources said the mea­sures to be an­nounced are likely to in­clude in­cen­tives for peo­ple to live in down­town Athens, an idea that Mayor Gior­gos Kami­nis put for­ward sev­eral months ago; more in­ten­sive polic­ing of the city cen­ter; and a wider scheme to repa­tri­ate im­mi­grants.

The gov­ern­ment was forced to act af­ter 44-year-old Mano­lis Kan­taris was stabbed to death on Tri­tis Septemvriou as he went to get his car so he could take his preg­nant wife to the hos­pi­tal. The in­ci­dent sparked protests by some res­i­dents as well as by the ex­treme right group Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn), which claimed that mi­grants were re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack, for which no- body has been caught. A num­ber of im­mi­grants were at­tacked in the wake of Kan­taris’s mur­der and a 21year-old Bangladeshi man was stabbed to death in, as yet, un­de­ter­mined cir­cum­stances.

Cen­tral Athens has suf­fered for a num­ber of years from ris­ing crime and law­less­ness while the con­cen­tra­tion of legal and il­le­gal im­mi­grants in some neigh­bor­hoods has led to concern about the cre­ation of ghet­tos in the heart of the city.

PASOK MP Costas Kar­talis, who heads the par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee that has ex­am­ined ways of im­prov­ing life in cen­tral Athens, yes­ter­day pleaded with the gov­ern­ment to en­sure that there is as much nor­mal daily life as pos­si­ble in down­town ar­eas, where the eco­nomic cri­sis has led to hun­dreds of stores clos­ing. “Our aim must be to keep busi­nesses and pub­lic ser­vices in the city cen­ter,” said Kar­talis. “There could be no big­ger mis­take than to move pub­lic ser­vices out of the area.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.