OPINION

CPR for the heart of Athens

We have seen a great deal of progress being made in cleaning up the historical center of downtown Athens over the past few weeks. In addition to the evacuation of a building that housed the old appeals court and which had been used by hundreds of migrants squatting illegally, there has also been a positive trend toward curbing widespread illegal activities. The situation had raged out of control, driving the local business community to despair and driving away those few residents who had managed to hang on over the years. Now that the situation has been brought under some degree of control, however, we must find a way to breathe new life into central Athens so that this phenomenon does not repeat itself. One place we can look to for ideas is to the other European cities that have reclaimed their historical centers. The most important step, however, is for the state, the City of Athens and business owners in the area to come up with innovative initiatives. Cleaning up the historical center of criminal activity is just the beginning, what we need now is to restart the pulse of the heart of Athens.