Moschato citizens irked

«Cement all around / Cuts us off from the sea / The only time we see it / Is on TV!» The theme song of the Moschato Citizens’ Movement expresses the dismay of those who live on the coast but have no access to the beach and not even a view of the sea. On Tuesday, World Environment Day, Moschato residents held a rally on the seafront to demand safe access, a ban on beachfront building, and the creation of green space. Life is far from idyllic for local residents. «The Kifissos River is now covered over,» one resident said. «And it no longer brings fresh breezes. Kifissou Avenue brings all kinds of pollutants into the area. On both sides of Kifissou, the houses are overshadowed by the cement bulk of the freeway. The area was already heavily industrialized, and it has been further disadvantaged by the interchange at Neo Faliron.» The law governing the use of open space around the Bay of Faliron allows more concrete on the seafront. The same law also monitors use of Olympic venues after last summer’s Games. «The situation may not be the best, but it is not that desperate,» Moschato Deputy Mayor for the Environment Andreas Efthymiou told Kathimerini. «According to the Town-Planning Organization of Athens, only 1 percent of the seafront will be built upon. As for the issue of access to the beach, that will be solved by the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Poseidonos Avenue that will link Moschato to the sea.» Christos Kazalas, deputy mayor for sanitation, also cited the lack of flood-prevention works, which he said were urgently needed. The Public Works Ministry has confirmed that soccer pitches, an athletics track and a swimming pool will also be built in the area.

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