Piraeus prosecutor’s offices are resting on shaky foundations

An office building in central Piraeus, at the corner of Skouze and Filonos streets, has been judged as unstable, according to a report drafted by the Piraeus municipality’s zoning office. A report drafted on October 7, 2003, found that three of the columns supporting the perimeter of the building, which houses the offices of the city’s appeals court prosecutors and courts of the first instance, were observed to be disintegrating. It also found that the building’s main reinforcements had been improperly installed and that connectors were missing. The remaining columns are being inspected by a civil engineer and the plaster removed and reinforced after a statics survey, to be completed within six months. However, the report observes that it will not be necessary for the hundreds of people working in the building to be moved elsewhere in the interim. According to sources, the building’s management service wrote to the firm of Themis Renovations on October 21, setting out the problem and calling for immediate action. The next day, experts inspected the building and have reportedly called for a further inspection with the aid of scanners. This was by no means the first report to the Justice Ministry regarding problems with the building, which has no emergency exit. The court rooms are small and not soundproof. Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos has promised representatives of the Piraeus Law Association that a site on Pireos Street would be bought within November 2003 and a new courthouse built by 2007.