Athenians Protest at ‘Abandoned’ Park of Pedion tou Areos (photos)

Hundreds of people gathered on Wednesday night at Pedion tou Areos (Field of Mars), one of the biggest parks in central Athens, to protest against the abandonment of the park, and to leaving it to its fate.

With lanterns and torches in hand, they marched inside the park calling on the regional authority and the government to solve the chronic problems of safety and cleanliness in the park, one of the last remaining oasis of green in the Greek capital.

The state-owned public park, which covers an area of 250 acres, has become a focal point for the homeless, junkies and prostitutes, local residents say, and that piles of trash are being dumped on the walkways.

They claim that the lighting in the park is non-existent, and most are scared to walk in it during the night.

Although millions of euros were spent revamping the park in 2010 and was handed over to the regional authority amid great fanfare, it ended up being completely abandoned and left to its fate.