The collapse a few days ago of a hotel balcony on Syngrou Avenue in Athens has sparked a discussion about safety and the need for proper maintenance. On Monday, the Tourism Ministry decided to temporarily suspend the operation of the hotel and the balcony will be removed in the next few days. Experts note that in most cases it is not the weight we put on our balconies that is to blame, but the damage that “goes unnoticed.” The phenomenon is not rare as it occurs at least two to three times every year, fortunately most of the time without casualties. “Our balconies are designed for a weight of 500 kilograms per square meter. This regulation has been the same since 1945,” explains Christos Zeris, director of the Structural Engineering Department at the National Technical University of Athens.