Two ambitious public projects, the pedestrianization of Panepistimiou Street in central Athens and the redevelopment of the Faliro Bay, are at risk after they were removed from the NSRF list of funded projects.
According to sources from the Ministry of Infrastructure, the European Commission does not consider the two projects to be top priorities and that they have not been removed from the overall plans. The Ministry adds that it will resubmit the projects and the European Commission will approve their funding “in six months from now”.
The same sources underline that the European Commission appears to have prioritized other projects, such as the development of a fourth line in the Athens Metro network and the completion of main road arteries. The Onassis Foundation, which has funded surveys for the pedestrianization, has expressed its concern over this negative development in a public statement and questioned the repercussions of a potential cancellation of the “Rethink Athens” project.
DIMAR MP Niki Founta commented on the development and argued that the projects were removed from the NSRF list due to high costs and not providing a traffic study. Mrs. Founta also accused the coalition government and Prime Minister of making grandiose announcements that were either based on “wishful thinking” or intended to “pull the wool over the eyes” of the people.