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3 Comments

  1. I just returned from a wonderful trip to Athens to reconnect with my Greek relatives after 40 years. I last visited in 1968-1969.

    Things have really been developed in the Athens area but the one main negative thing that struck me was the prevalence of graffiti defacing everywhere(stuff spray painted on buildings).

    It doesn’t look like anything is being done about it? Since tourism is I believe your number 1 industry the graffiti problem isn’t welcoming to tourists as it is usually done by criminal gangs or gang members in the U.S. and other countries so when people see it they don’t feel safe.

    In my city where I am from in the U.S., Riverside, California, they have tackled this problem with vigor. They have a 311 telephone hotline to report it and within a day or two the City sends out a crew to paint over it. In addition to the 311 call line to city hall, they also have a smartphone application, IPhone and Android, called 311 and you can take a picture with your phone and report all kinds of problems to the city hall for them to address such as dumping, homeless problems, graffiti etc. Through the application you get a faster response most time rather than calling where they can forward it immediately to the proper department to handle the problem.

    Also, in most of the U.S. spray paint can only be sold to someone over 18 years of age. Some cities when they catch a graffiti tagger they make the offender’s parents or guardian pay for the clean up in addition to jail sometimes. If a business has graffiti on their building the city code enforcement will cite them and give them a certain number of days to take care of it and if they don’t the city will send out a crew to do it and they will fine the business for not taking care of it. Just some suggestions…

    If the City of Athens is low on funds then get volunteers and go street by street and many times paint companies will donate paint for the effort too.

    I am not sure why there is so much throughout Athens or if you are doing something about it already but I wanted to share my feeling about it from my recent visit this last week.

    P.S. It’s also very bad for property values as well.

    1. The city was like that as well when I lived in Athens in 2003 , and as an American I thought it was from gangs…My Greek friend told me it is their form of expression and art…some of it was , most was just ugly…

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