Call to clean up city center

Round-the-clock police surveillance of Athens’s historic center is the only way to curb spiraling crime such as drug dealing and prostitution, Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas told police chiefs yesterday. Sanidas’s initiative follows an increase in complaints by residents and store owners in the historic «triangle» marked out by Syntagma, Monastiraki and Omonia squares. Locals say the near-constant presence of drug addicts, prostitutes and illegal traders has made them feel unsafe and driven away business. These images «are not appropriate in a privileged democracy,» Sanidas said in his circular. The prosecutor has called for 24-hour police surveillance of the area to target offenders and, if necessary, deport them.

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