Citizens push for cleanup

An association of citizens and storeowners based in Athens’s historic center is considering appealing to the European Court of Justice if Greek authorities fail to take the necessary action to improve quality of life in the run-down district, Kathimerini has learned. According to the Central Athens Residents’ Initiative, spiraling crime, the rampant trade and use of drugs and the exploitation of undocumented migrants in the area are fueling unease among residents and have led to significant losses for storeowners. Members of the group said they have been encouraged by meetings with government officials and Supreme Court prosecutor Yiannis Tentes, noting that policing has been boosted. But they want more radical improvements and are launching an awareness campaign. «If we all respect the law and isolate those who break it, be they Greek or foreigners, we can create a safe environment,» said a statement by the association.

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