NEWS

Olympics sites to get new life

A new plan to rejuvenate parts of Athens’s southeastern coastline, where sports venues and facilities have remained largely unused since the Athens Olympics in 2004, is due to be announced next week, it was revealed yesterday. The scheme aims to make better use of facilities in Neo Faliro, Moschato and in Elliniko on the site that used to host Athens’s former airport. The latter site, which occupies 0.8 hectares and is located between several stadiums that are used sporadically, has not been used at all over the last six years but the government intends to take down the fencing and boards that have been placed around it, partly as a symbolic gesture designed to indicate that it no longer wants to allow the area to appear abandoned. «Why should this open space between the Elliniko stadiums be closed off?» said Yiannis Pyrgiotis, the new general secretary of the government department that has the task of making the most of the city’s Olympic legacy. «Much of the fencing was put up in 2004 for security reasons and has just remained there. «We have decided that the entire area covered by Olympic facilities at the former airport should be opened up to the public, which will be able to access the site from two entrances. We hope that we will reach this goal in April.» There is also an intention to renegotiate a deal to hire out the Tae Kwon Do Stadium in Moschato, which has been used only haltingly since 2004, mostly for conferences. There is also an unused area of land adjacent to the stadium that the government plans to transform into an environmental park. Much of the 0.2-hectare site is currently used by Roma.