Ranging from the changes being planned for Panepistimiou Street to the recent revamp of Omonia Square, my discussion with Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis was focused on his plans for the "Grand Walk," as he's dubbed an ambitious overhaul of the city center. The capital's new mayor, elected in May 2019, also responded to criticism over last week's unveiling of the new fountain in Omonia.
People will most certainly love the revamped Omonia Square at the heart of Athens. Any comparison with what had been in its place over the past 15 years would, after all, be devastating. Sure, we must pay heed to the objections raised by architects, which are legitimate from an institutional point of view: An architecture tender should proceed a project of this magnitude.
Could Omonia reclaim its status as the heart of Athens? But the heart of which Athens? Of the real Athens? Of the imaginary Athens? Or of the desirable Athens? Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, who has been credited with the effort to revamp Omonia Square (in partnership with the private sector), had every reason to be satisfied with Thursday's rehearsal, as it were.
One person died and another was injured in an attack near Athens' central Omonoia square on Thursday, police said.
Officers who were called at the scene after reports of gunshots found bullet cases at the corner of Sapfous and Menandrou, but it was not clear whether the victims - both of whom initial reports say are foreign nationals - were shot at or stabbed.
Progress on an ambitious revamp of Athens' downtown Omonia Square is seen in a photograph released on Saturday. The Athens municipal authority is reinstalling a fountain at the center of the square in a nod to the iconic landmark that graced it from its redesign in the late 1950s to the early 1990s.
Athens' so-called "commercial triangle," an area between Syntagma, Monastiraki and Omonia squares, is arguably one of the most happening parts of the Greek capital right now. Every one of its narrow streets, every building, is a monument to a piece of the city's social and economic history. It's a mosaic in a constant state of transformation yet fundamentally unchanged.