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Crowding overshadows inauguration of Omonia fountain, Athens mayor under fire

Dozens of Greeks gathered at Omonia Square on Thursday night to attend the inauguration of the new fountain at the Omonia Square by Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis. The fountain was illuminated and the water spurted up to 20 meters high. It was the right place but the wrong time.

The Mayor of Athens came under fire for holding such an event amid the pandemic and even allowing people to crowding, when there is still a ban. On social media, Greeks demand an official position by the Civil Protection and and Ministry for Citizens’ Protection.

It was the first public event with the participation of the people since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Greece. Despite the easing of the lockdown restrictions public gathering of more than 10 people are still banned.

The gathering took place just days after authorities sent riot police against young people gathering in squares of suburbs of Athens and even imposed a night curfew in Agia Paraskevi.

Main opposition SYRIZA poured “poison” and ironically criticized the event saying “it looks as if the coronavirus is contagious in the squares of Agia Paraskevi and in Kypseli, but not outside the PM’s residence and at Omonia square when it is about a fiesta. Every day we learn something new about the pandemic…”

Crowding outside the PM’s residence end of April, when the mayor of Athens had a truck with singer Alkistis Protopsalti to cheer Greeks and his uncle, the Prime Minister, amid the lockdown.

Bakoyiannis, apparently enjoyed the fiesta and his second social mistake and hailed in its speech the innovative and ecologically friendly design.

The renovated Omonia Square in the center of the Greek capital will offer to Athenians and visitors “an oasis of cool,” as it will help lower the temperature in its vicinity and filter pollution from the air, the mayor stressed.

The fountain and the square are illuminated with LED technology. 13 fountain jets spurt water up to 20 meters high.
Pave way materials for thee 4,500-square-meter surface have been replaced thermo-neutral materials that reduce the thermal footprint of the entire square in the summer months.

The cost of 720,000 euros was covered through donations by Laskaridis Foundation and Fontana Fountains.

Omonia square is one of the oldest in Athens and the most central urban meeting points.

Omonia Square 1890

It has undergone various transformations throughout the years, since it was first constructed in 1846.

PS Why did the mayor held the inauguration now? Only he knows…

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