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Athens Mayor admits “Great Walk” didn’t walk; €1.8mn thrown away

The ambitious “Great Walk of Athens” didn’t walk, it was just a “pilot and temporary program” and a “simulation”, Mayor Costas Bakoyiannis said on Tuesday announcing a …new project for downtown Athens. What certainly walked to some pockets were 1,8 million euros from the Municipality’s cash registers. Money that were spent for colors to paint the asphalt, palm trees and flower boxes with plants that died out short after as there was no provision for their watering.

Speaking to Skai FM, Bakoyiannis admitted that the project neither worked nor walked and announced a new one that will begin in 2021 for a permanent, large-scale, re-development of Panepistimiou Avenue on its entire length down to Omonia Square.

“Forget the Panepisitmou as we know it. Let’s go for something new,” the Mayor of Athens stressed.

He justified the 1.8-million-euros that were practically thrown away as a necessity because “we had to find a rough and mostly temporary way to draw the lines of the work, that is, to paint before we start digging,.”

Before: July 28 ⇑

After: September 9 ⇓

The experiment was not successful, he admitted, and the green grass at the revamped Omonia Square was eaten by caterpillars.

However, according to a media report beginning of the month the problem with the grass weren’t the caterpillars but the absence of water.

According to media, the experiment cost was almost 2 million euros. Two contracts were awarded, one for the colors and markings of the streets that underwent the test renovation and the other for the planters, benches and other urban equipment.

Journalist and author Elena Akrita commented on The Great Walk saying that when a large of Athenians were criticizing the project, they were accused by supporters of the mayor for “not having a vision” and for being “against progress.”

Akrita recalled that public money that were thrown away by the Mitsotakis government in less than at year:  The Athens Walk, the oversized Face Masks for school children (€6million), the floating dams in the Aegean, the Skoil Elikikou and the Petsas’ List for Sta Home campaign to media (€20million)… a total of 117 million euros.

PS what happened to Athens Mayor with the Great Walk has happened also to my nephew and his experiments with his Lego-city. Only that the cost was much much lower and in the end he found a sustainable solution.

In contrast to Bakoyiannis, my nephew is not a member of the Mitsotakis family that has a long tradition of being “state-funded”  and has learned to respect hard-earned money.

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3 comments

  1. will anyone he held accountable , to pay this wasted money back, or to go to prison?

    • Be happy that they returned the streets back to normal. You don’t want to see what’s happening to major streets in downtown Toronto!

      And this will NOT go away.

  2. Thank God that’s over. Now the old aunts can go back to shopping on Ermou and Athinas without learning how to ride a bicycle, another great Bakoyiannis “idea”.

    Digging was mentioned in the article. Digging for what purpose may we ask.

    ps Elena Akrita forgot the “great idea” of renaming Evangelismos stasis / metro after mayor Bakoyiannis father!