State sector not for the disabled

Despite government pledges to make Athens a much friendlier city for handicapped people ahead of this year’s Olympics and Paralympics, the overwhelming majority of public sector offices are inaccessible to the disabled, according to figures made public yesterday. Inspections of some 4,000 buildings found that only 5 percent of all offices used by the civil service and the broader public sector – with which most ordinary people have to do business at some time or another – were on the ground floor. Of the rest, 70 percent did not even have a lift. And only 1.9 percent of the offices inspected had special corridors for the blind. Some 9.3 percent of the population is listed as having some form of disability. Yesterday, government and local authority officials signed an agreement with the National Confederation of Disabled People under which over 2 million euros will be spent this year on improving infrastructure for the handicapped in public sector buildings.