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Athens mayor says city ready to host Paralympic Games
17/9/2004 8:04

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 "barrier-free" environment.

Xinhua News