Bulldozers moved into the densely populated central Athens neighborhood of Kypseli yesterday. They plan to knock down an illegal building and clear out rubble and rubbish from a streambed in the area as part of a move to create more green space.
“This was a threat to public health right in the heart of Athens,” said Ilias Liakopoulos, General Secretary of the Attica Regional Authority. “Following complaints by citizens and instructions received from the Environment Ministry, the regional authority and the municipality have moved to clear up this plot of land.”
The building had been abandoned for a number of years. Although there are many illegal structures in Athens, it is unusual for authorities to proceed to the point of knocking them down. However with local elections just over two months away, there has now been a flurry of such activity in the capital.
“The City of Athens will transform the plot of land into a green space for local people,” stated Deputy Mayor Giorgos Dimopoulos, who is responsible for sanitation issues. Dimopoulos said the municipality is compiling a list of all the unclaimed plots that contain illegal structures, which it intends to knock down with the help from regional authorities.