It took a team of 75 municipal workers 10 days to clean up around 10 tons of pre-election posters that had been put up illegally by political parties on streetlights, trees and other surfaces around the capital, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis told Kathimerini on Tuesday.
The mayor had appealed to the parties to stop putting up illegal campaign posters ahead of last Sunday’s general elections but saw little willingness to cooperate from party officials.
“It was like a game of cops and robbers,” Kaminis said.
“We were taking down posters from all the main roads, and they were putting them back up again five minutes later,” he said, adding that it is not the job of municipal workers to tear down posters every day.
City Hall will impose fines on all the parties that fly-posted in the capital, the mayor said without determining the size of the penalties to be dished out to the cash-strapped political groupings. The likeliest scenario is that the fines will be sent to Parliament, which will pay them and deduct the amounts from the share of each offending party from its apportioned state subsidy.
In the last few days leading up to Sunday’s elections, the number of campaign posters multiplied, according to Kaminis.
In many cases, three posters promoting the campaign speeches of different party leaders -- in Athens as well as in the provinces -- were found glued to the same streetlight or tree. Posters were even found on the walls of some city playgrounds while others had been pasted onto the front of recycling bins, concealing the instructions for the disposal of different recyclable products.
Municipal teams are to continue the cleanup on Wednesday -- and hope to be finished by the end of day -- taking down the last few posters from districts in the city center including Gazi and Metaxourgeio as well as from the neighborhoods of Peristeri and Aegaleo in western Athens.Ekathimerini.com