NEWS

Holding out doggedly in changing Psyrri

The some 500 remaining residents of the historic inner city district of Psyrri are up in arms at its transformation by the nightlife and lifestyle industries. These few hundred people have hung on in their neighborhood despite the presence of dozens of nightclubs and bars without operating permits, which are crowded into five or six blocks that have drastically altered daily life in the district and taken the place of traditional businesses which were mainly light manufacturing and wholesale outlets. Subjected daily to noise, crowds and intimidation from nightclub bouncers, not to mention indifference on the part of the authorities, they appear determined to dig in their heels. The municipality, police and relevant ministries have turned a blind eye to the dozens of infringements of the law that are committed nightly, and have ignored appeals from local residents. During the day, Psyrri is not deserted, as some believe, nor as some might wish, it is the Athenian version of Soho. It still retains a degree historic continuity despite the contrast with certain «improvements,» such as the restored neoclassical buildings and the transformation of some of the smaller streets into pedestrian zones. Locals angry at the rapid deterioration of the quality of life are calling for incentives for new residents, small manufacturers and shops. In other words, they want Psyrri to be restored to its former self, a neighborhood in the center of the city where families and businesses coexist peaceably.