Omonia facelift after the Games

While admitting that the newly redesigned Omonia Square is an eyesore, the government yesterday ruled out any major facelift to the central Athens landmark until after the August Olympics. Following consultations yesterday with Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said only minor work could be carried out on the square – which was converted into a granite-paved quadrangle last year after spending most of the previous century as a roundabout – before the Games. «Omonia is truly a miserable sight,» he said. «But we cannot start new construction now… Any work will have to be finished by the end of July at the latest.» The minister said the only work that could be done before the Olympics might involve the addition of some more greenery. The renovation, which was heavily criticized for its barren appearance, cost 1.99 million euros and ended three years late. Souflias also said work to broaden the pavement at Syntagma Square would also be put off until after the Games.

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