OPINION

A good job on Tositsa Street

Sunday night’s police sweep targeting the rampant drug trade on Tositsa Street in Exarchia, downtown Athens, was one decisive step in the right direction. For years, the pedestrian walkway next to the National Archaeological Museum has been overrun by drug dealers, other criminal elements and addicts. The state of affairs in the area had been allowed to degenerate to an embarrassing point and one would often see tourists being assaulted by drug addicts looking for handouts or even harassed by the other undesirables who loitered on the street. Athens will never be able to attract the number of visitors it likes to boast it deserves if it does not first make sure that all the areas around sites of historical, archaeological or cultural interest are safe, clean and attractive. One hopes that yesterday’s police raid was not an isolated incident. It should prove to be the initial step in a systematic policy that will eventually ensure that residents of central Athens no longer feel like prisoners in their own homes and visitors feel safe to walk the streets of the city.