Athens Mayor Dora
Bakoyiannis on Thursday expressed his confidence that the Greek capital is
absolutely ready to host the Paralympic Games, which will begin on Friday with a
sold-out opening ceremony.
"Our slogan is simple: When there
is a will, there is a way. We are working to make Athens accessible to all; a
city where all are welcome and respected. A city where all can share in the
joy," she told a press conference at city hall.
According to Bakoyiannis, the
municipality of Athens has invested 18.5 million euros to become more accessible
and functional for people with a disability. Among others, she said some 780,000
square meters of roadways have been repaved, whereas 250,000 square meters of
sidewalks have been redesigned on the sides of 450 major roads in the densely
populated Greek capital.
She said efforts are underway to
continue to improve accessibility at municipal buildings and to increase social
services for citizens with a disability.
The mayor stressed that 600
municipal police officers have been instructed to patrol roads, parks, town
squares, areas surrounding schools and play grounds in order to ensure a