OPINION

A blow to the city’s good image

Stadiou Street, one of the main thoroughfares running through the center of Athens which has a long history and serves thousands of local residents and tourists, has gone much the way of the surrounding area and appears neglected and run-down – reflecting all of the endemic problems of the city center. Signs of chronic oversight, as seen in the dilapidated buildings, some of which were bequeathed to the city as far back as the 19th century, reflect an urban ethos and an atmosphere of societal organization that is in keeping with neither the great history of this city nor the feelings of its citizens. Even more so, this picture of neglect harms the Greek capital’s greatest ambition – to become a major pole of attraction in its own right and independently of other parts of the country for visitors from around Greece and all over the world. While the degradation of the city center began as an aesthetic problem, it is quickly turning into a major one that has a negative effect on the country’s economy and on its prestige and image abroad.