Days after a top government minister, a mayoral candidate backed by ruling SYRIZA party and a bevy of local officials “inaugurated” four metro wagons loaded onto a truck outside a worksite in the northern city of Thessaloniki, vandals managed to spray paint graffiti on one side of two carriages.
The particularly embarrassing incident over the weekend comes on the heels of a crescendo of criticism, and social media ridicule, of the “photo op” event, which comes months after the Tsipras government unveiled, without actually using the word “inauguration”, an unfinished metro station in the northern city.
In a bid to deflect the disparagement from the vandalism, the president of the state-run Attiko Metro company, which manages the project and possibly the Thessaloniki metro once completed, said four security guards were posted in a depot where the wagons were kept, “and that’s why we avoided the worst”.
Yannis Mylopoulos – himself a SYRIZA cadre and former university rector who donned a hard hat for last week’s event – promised to “propose” a CCTV system for the depot, while adding, in a “silver lining” mode: “… it was difficult to find the materials to clean the wagons, but we found them. Tomorrow (Monday) morning we’ll commence the cleaning”.