Athens municipal official resigns over Ferris wheel debacle

Athens municipal official resigns over Ferris wheel debacle

The City of Athens official responsible for cultural events, Christos Tentomas, was forced to resign late on Wednesday over a debacle with a Ferris wheel installed on downtown Syntagma Square for the holidays.

Tentomas stepped down after the municipal authority issued a press release demanding that the ride, installed by a private company, be dismantled and removed from the busy public square in front of Parliament due to safety concerns.

The official, who heads the city’s Organization for Culture, Sports and Youth, had touted the Ferris wheel on his personal social media sites as being the highlight of holiday festivities organized in the Greek capital, for which he was responsible.

The Ferris wheel was installed on December 21 but never went into operation after a safety inspection by regional authorities found that it fell below basic standards and posed a hazard. The municipal authority subsequently turned down a request by the private company that owns the ride for an extension to get the Ferris wheel up to scratch.

The affair, meanwhile, has evolved into a political row following rumors that Tentomas had been planning to run for mayor in the 2019 local elections.

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