NEWS

Mayor Dora Bakoyannis: Not the end, but a stop on the way

How will the City of Athens handle its new Olympic acquisition – the new psychology that emerged among its citizens? For us and the municipality, the Olympic Games were not the end of a journey, but a way station. I believe that as citizens and as a city we rose to the challenge, changing our behavior, changing mentality, seeing things from another point of view. This change is visible in a new psychology, through actions from adhering to cleanliness regulations to staying out of Olympic (traffic exclusion) lanes, to participation as volunteers and inclusion in the «Facades» program that helped restore and clean the facades of buildings. All of this was great change, which rests on an alliance that was built up step-by-step between city residents and the city, and had the characteristic that in the municipality there were works, there was infrastructure, there were regulations and the citizen showed respect and adopted them. Will there be initiatives after the Games so that this spirit is not lost? We are not stopping here. Athens has changed, but Athens goes on. We will continue with the aim of maintaining the procedures that we adopted intact, such as regulations for cleanliness or respect for access to the pavements by people with special needs. We will continue to complete programs like the «Facades» one, which will continue from September with the same intensity. We will give care and emphasis to the upkeep and protection of the works that have been carried out so that we don’t return to the point we started from. And we have designed actions to sensitize and mobilize the city’s residents so as not to lose the dynamism and the opportunity generated by the momentum of the Games.