In a few months’ time, Eleftherias Square in Heraklion will have a new look. The square had a facelift five years ago but the result was widely condemned, while today it is obvious that the workmanship was also poor. The marble paving, for example, has been badly damaged in just five years.
The regeneration of Eleftherias Square was one of Yiannis Kourakis’ campaign promises, and the Mayor of Heraklion remains determined to do what he promised. He has already instructed the relevant deputy mayor, K. Mamoulakis, to check every detail of the technical plans drawn up by the municipal council and prepare the ground for their realization.
The municipal council is also trying to find a way to reduce the project budget, estimated at half a million euros. The cost is considered far too high for the municipal treasury to cover and of course the citizens of Heraklion are not keen on paying a second time for a project that cost a bomb only a few years ago. Cost reduction must be in a way that ensures that the materials used will not be shoddy and therefore useless again in a few years’ time.
The council plans provide for the total redesign of the square. However, many local bodies such as the Technical Chamber, the Architects’ Association and the Commercial Association of Heraklion do not agree, saying that the existing square should be improved and repaired rather than beginning all over again.
In any case, the municipality states that the project start date will be determined in agreement with local shop owners, who are affected by works in the square. The works are not scheduled to begin before spring 2007.