The Environment Ministry is poised to move from its current disparate locations in the capital to a building near Omonia Square in a bid to save money but also to spearhead efforts to encourage people to return to downtown Athens, which has been blighted by crime in recent years. The ministry announced on Wednesday that the move to the Minion building, which takes its name from a department store that used to be housed there, would take place after the elections. “The main advantages are that we will save about 4.5 million euros per year in rent and 1 million euros in operational costs,” the ministry said. Its services are currently housed in 28 buildings, costing 6.5 million euros per year. However, authorities also have their eye on efforts to regenerate run-down parts of Athens.
The ministry employs about 1,300 people and authorities believe that having them head to and from the building on Patission Street, which is owned by the Folli Follie jewelry firm, will help efforts to restore commercial activity in the heart of the capital.