NEWS

Athens walkways moving ahead

Plans are well under way for two key roads in central Athens to be pedestrianized and for the tram to run from the city center to Kato Patissia, a high-ranking government official revealed on Sunday.

Speaking to Skai TV, Environment Ministry general secretary Maria Kalta said that the government intends over the next few days to launch an international tender for the pedestrianization of Panepistimou Street, which connects Athens?s two main squares: Syntagma and Omonia.

She added that architects and civil engineers are due to complete soon the study for pedestrianization of Vassilissis Olgas Street, also in the city center, as part of plans to create a vehicle-free zone in the city center that would allow residents and visitors to walk unobstructed between various ancient sites, the Zappeio Hall, the Panathenaic Stadium and the National Gardens.

Kalta said that the projects would not stop there and that the ministry is examining plans to redevelop several squares in central Athens neighborhoods, such as Aghios Panteleimonas, where racial tensions have been running high over the past couple of years due to some residents and extremist opposing the large presence of immigrants. The ministry official said that preparatory work on the extension of the tram line to Kato Patissia would also begin soon.