City of Athens in drive to give pedestrians their space


Municipal authorities in Athens have been stepping up checks on cafes, bars and restaurants around the city center to crack down on the encroachment of sidewalks and pedestrian streets with tables and chairs.

“The effort is geared toward ensuring that everyone gets what they merit in terms of public space,” said Deputy Mayor Andreas Varelas, who is in charge of the city center and the Municipal Police, whose job it is to ensure that proprietors abide by the space rental agreement they have with the City of Athens.

He added that the challenge is to enforce the law and maintain order in the entire city center with a Municipal Police force that has shrunk from 1,200 officers in 2013 to just 390 today.