Capital to be disabled-friendly by 2004, say Games officials

ATHENS will make all public and private buildings accessible to the disabled by the 2004 Games, officials said on April 16. In what may become one of the biggest challenges for the troubled organisers of the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games yet, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said it was time for these measures to be put into place across the country.

He said the government would draft a law to impose these measures, modelled on US disability access guidelines.

All buildings, old and new, as well as the country's many archaeological sites, including ancient Olympia, the Athens' Acropolis and the ancient Oracle at Delphi, will have to grant access for disabled people.

Currently only a handful of buildings, mainly in the capital, have special ramps, elevators and lavatories for the disabled.

Venizelos said the cost for this essential revamp would be covered by public and private funds, but did not give an estimate of the total figure.

Games organisers have said that such reconstructions for public buildings alone will cost about 290 million euros ($255.3 million).


Return to Greece for the Handicapped