Billboards are coming down

A comprehensive drive to clear the capital’s roadsides of illegal promotional billboards that have been condemned as eyesores and risks to motorists will get under way today. The cleanup is to begin on Pireos Street before moving on to Stadiou and Panepistimiou streets. Environment Minister Tina Birbili, whose ministry has joined forces with the Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Ministry, said yesterday that the program aimed to spruce up run-down areas. «We are focusing on billboards that have aesthetically ruined significant parts of the city,» Birbili said. The cleanup is being coordinated by the Unification of the Archaeological Sites of Athens (EAXA), a state organization set up in 1997 but which has been largely inactive in recent years. The public is being asked to contribute to the drive. Last week, the office of Prime Minister George Papandreou appealed to citizens to report illegal billboards on a new website,