City launches drive to reclaim sidewalks

Police officers and City of Athens employees yesterday began removing tables and chairs that had been placed illegally on sidewalks in the trendy, central nightspot of Psyrri in a bid to persuade cafe and taverna owners to stop impeding pedestrians. The municipal team yesterday targeted five establishments that failed to heed earlier warnings. Tables, chairs, flower boxes and other items blocking sidewalks or taking up parking spaces in front of the premises were all removed. «We are giving some business owners a clear message that unless they have operating permits which allow the placement of tables and chairs outside, they can no longer break the law. We will no longer tolerate this,» said Deputy Mayor Andreas Papadakis, who is responsible for shops and safety in Athens.