The City of Athens appears to be making an attempt to impose some degree of order on the cluttered sidewalks and pedestrian streets of the Greek capital, albeit with its usual delay.
The problem of cafes and bars spreading their tables and chairs all over the place, taking over more and more public space with impunity, is extremely serious. It is a clear violation of the law and impinges on the right of pedestrians to be granted free passage – not to mention people in wheelchairs and parents pushing strollers.
On-site inspections and stricter fines are not the only way to deal with this problem, which can be seen all over the city. What the municipal authority must do is ensure that the law governing the occupation of public space is absolutely clear and cannot be manipulated.