Another theft of a public space - in Alytus this time
It was back in 2004 when the local government of Alytus, a town in Southern Lithuania, decided to build a new leisure centre.
What turned out in the end was that the project approved is by the infamous VP Market, which is known for (a) buying, closing and re-selling what used to be the best cinema in Vilnius, (b) unpunished, carrying on with unimaginable exploitation of workers at its shops (shop assistants had to use diapers when working, because the management wouldn't allow them even short breaks to go to the bathroom on busy months), and (c) the LEO LT affair, which basically means that should any disagreements between the "private investor", which is VP Market, and the government arise, all the property of the state, except diplomatic representations abroad, is 'frozen' as a deposit. This can only happen in such a wonderland as Lithuania, but let's not expand on that.Without any negotiation or consultation with the people and totally against their will, the old bus station (see picture) in the centre of the town was removed and relocated to another area.Photo borrowed from www.balsas.lt (http://www.balsas.lt/03/12/stoties_maxima.jpg)The bus station was centrally located and had the necessary infrastructure so that people can get where they want in the town. Again, I want to highlight this point, against the will of citizens the bus station is now in the middle of nowhere (the building itself was built by VP Market and is integrated with their shop, also, they have to supply a bus line to take people to the old station, but still...). I have relatives in Alytus, but we haven't been going there by bus since it happened - it's just terribly uncomfortable. So, a public building was given away to the big business group, which has links to the government and has been keenly engaged in the destruction of public spaces. Of course, when people don't feel good in public spaces, but need to spend time somewhere, they flock to huge shopping malls, owned by VP Market.And guess what I read today? Apparently, the progress of the new shopping-leisure centre is slow in Alytus. VP Market is doing nothing about the building, so the area right in the heart of the otherwise very green and cute town became a den for thieves and homeless people. some people who don't have any other income come to steal metal from the building. Bypassers don't feel safe in the area anymore, even though a police station is located nearby. The municipality has expressed concern, but the new owners of the building have only responded by saying that "they will see what they can do".