Michail Dekleris: There’s no respect for public space

«I have lived on Fokionos Negri for more than 50 years. The street has not only lost its former prestige but it presents, as they say, grave problems for the constructed environment. «First of all, the abundance of recreational establishments (such as cafes, bars and restaurants) has turned Fokionos Negri into a vast coffee shop. Without exaggeration, on summer nights there’s a township out there of 2-3,000 people. «You can imagine the crowds, the voices, the racket. And this is in contravention of a precedent set by the Council of State which states that there must be an open space of at least 100 meters between two similar establishments in a public space. «Sidewalks are not respected; motorcycles and other vehicles drive and park where they like. Young children are risk. «And then there is the market of illegal peddlers, which further cramps the amount of open space. All of this constitutes illegal trespass on open public space, which means that policing is inadequate and ineffective. In fact, the common use and the pedestrianization have disadvantaged the people who live on the street. That is the exact opposite of what the measure was intended to do, which was to improve living conditions. The authorities should take action.» – Michail Dekleris is president of the Environment and Sustainability Chamber and honorary vice president of the Council of State.