New pledges on forgotten park

A couple of months after the controversial move to wall in the second largest park in central Athens, hindering public access, regional authorities said yesterday they had changed their mind. Presenting plans to tidy up the insalubrious Areos Park, which lies between Kypseli, Gyzi and Exarchia, Athens-Piraeus Prefect Fofi Yennimata – who assumed her duties in January – promised to take down the concrete walls topped by railings that have encircled much of the park to the detriment of the hedge that used to do the job. But she said railings would still be used at certain points, without walls, and that there will be eight entrances. Yennimata also promised to hire guards and plant more trees while preserving all existing ones. She said the project will cost 882,000 euros, but then lamented the fact the prefecture lacked the necessary funds. Work could start next month. The park was abandoned to its fate years ago. It has served as a campsite for illegal immigrants, while part has been illegally taken over by a private sports center.

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