OPINION

Halting the downtown decline

The situation in the historic center of Athens has come to a head as the neglected area has become synonymous with petty crime, drugs and prostitution. The sweep operations conducted by the Greek police force have been a breath of fresh air for some of the capital’s most troubled neighborhoods but such campaigns are not enough to solve the problem on their own. Tackling the root causes of the problem will require immediate and effective cooperation between all the state agencies in order to put in action plans to remove the drug rehabilitation centers to a different neighborhood, establish reception centers for illegal immigrants and other similar initiatives. Unfortunately, the Citizens’ Protection Ministry seems to be the only one that comprehends the seriousness of the situation so far. The Socialist administration and City Hall must join forces and hammer out a comprehensive strategy that will halt the capital’s decline into a miserable ghetto marred by filth and crime.