Heading toward a missed opportunity

The very same mistakes and delays made in Athens in the organization of the Olympics, which caused the city to miss an opportunity to make substantial improvements in its appearance and lifestyle, have been occurring for some time now in connection with Patras as Cultural Capital of Europe for 2006. This is not just a mix of various artistic events, as some people think, but a unique opportunity for the Patras area, with its high rate of unemployment, to enjoy some development. The delay, not to say inertia, of the preparations for Patras 2006 are criminal. «We are already way behind, both with infrastructure projects and in scheduling events,» says Dimitris Pefanis, head of the Achaia Tourism Development company and managing director of Patras 2006. Artistic Director Thanos Mikroutsikos is blunt: «The fate of a whole area is hanging in the balance, yet the way things are going you’d think Patras 2006 was Patras 2010. It’s 20 months to 2006 and nothing has been done. Not one euro has been provided.»

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