Sensual films, snakes and horses exhibition: The incredible requests for use of public spaces

Sensual films, snakes and horses exhibition: The incredible requests for use of public spaces
Sensual films, snakes and horses exhibition: The incredible requests for use of public spaces

In the offices of the vice-mayor of Finance there are a lot of requests from citizens or agencies asking for them are rendered in use outdoor spots of the city for the organization of many events.

Among these hundreds of requests and several where the response of the authorities is “no no no!” as they are beyond imagination. For example, a citizen asked to set up an exhibition of reptiles and especially snakes in Aristotelous Square, another to use the Tsimiski street for Photo shoot models in Arabian horses and a third party to be granted part of her park HANTH for filming sensual film a whole weekend!

“As a procedure, the allocation of common space is provided for by the regulatory decision of the municipality of Thessaloniki. However, it is often an area of ​​controversy. Sometimes, though, laughter. I was very upset and in some cases so extreme that I was I thought it was a prank,” declares to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency the deputy mayor of Finance of the municipality of Thessaloniki, Michalis Koupkas, whose office received a total of 487 requests in a period of three years and despite the restrictions of the pandemic and the quarantines.

“Sir, he introduced himself to me as a producer of sensual films asking to be given a part of the HANTH park for the shooting of a sensual film for a whole weekend. When I explained to him that this was unacceptable, he very politely thanked me and hung up“, Mr. Kupkas remembers.

According to the responsible deputy mayor, the area that is requested more than any other is Aristotelous Square.

“This particular square has been requested for an exhibition of snakes, for setting up an outdoor market of products, for an amusement park. In another case, on Tsimiski street and during market hours, a sidewalk concession was requested by a company that wanted to photograph models on Arabian horses. Imagine what would happen to the horses in Tsimiski with the honking, motorbikes and pedestrians…”, he emphasizes.

The municipality’s response was also negative to the request for exorcism ceremonies, which were nevertheless performed by the members of the sect in Dikasterion square, behind the statue of Venizelos. “In the subject of exorcisms, which took on a very large dimension, it is clear that permission from the municipality of Thessaloniki was never given. On the other hand, I made it clear to the representative of the religious organization that the city squares are not going to become places of worship and religious rituals and therefore no permission will be granted. Illegally they decided to carry out their events with the well-known results. I am glad that this particular case took the path of justice“, repeated the responsible deputy mayor.

It is noted that most concessions for common space concern political and cultural events, sports events of associations, clubs and also of the municipality of Thessaloniki itself.

“Private companies can rent public space for the commercial display and promotion of their products for a fee of 150 euros per square meter per day and this is an important income for the municipality. The sale of products and services in the public space is strictly prohibited unless a decision of the municipal council stipulates otherwise or an auction procedure has preceded it”, adds Mr. Kupkas.

The responsible deputy mayor concludes that the common area constitutes valuable public good which must be protected from abusive uses and practices and that the goal of himself and his partners is “to always serve within reasonable frameworks that will not endanger anyone and will not offend the public eye, but also the image of European Thessaloniki».

“I am often the target of criticism for the bench seats that in some cases exceed the limits of the license that has been granted to the point that they burden the movement of citizens and degrade our quality of life. However, despite our limited strength in employees, a very great effort is being made by both the Auditors Department and the Municipal Police to limit the phenomenon. We do not want to impose sanctions on anyone, nor do we have a fine collection logic. Success for me will be achieving a compliance rate of over 90%“, he adds.

The article is in Greek

Tags: Sensual films snakes horses exhibition incredible requests public spaces

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