The City of Athens is reportedly on the brink of ordering the demolition of nine abandoned dilapidated buildings deemed to be dangerous.
The decision is expected in the wake of the collapse of two buildings over the last three days – one in Gazi on Sunday which crushed two adjacent cars and another on Tuesday in a part of Thiseio popular with tourists.
Video footage from the site of the latter collapse on Iouliou Smith Street showed a pile of rubble and wooden panels filling the small street. The building was constructed in 1886 and had been uninhabited since 1975.
There are some 1,800 abandoned buildings and houses within the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Athens – 70 have been designated as dangerous while 400 have been listed by the Culture Ministry.
The reason given for why so many buildings are abandoned is that owners do not have the financial resources or the incentives to maintain them due to the financial crisis.