The city centre of Athens is an idiosyncratic void. Many older inhabitants abandoned it years ago. Some of the newcomers were dislocated during recent police operations. The city is changing constantly: there are many homeless people on the streets. Landlords do not rent out their apartments, preferring instead to leave them empty. In a similar way the small, ground-floor shops, so typical of Mediterranean street life, are closing as merchants find it impossible to survive. Many once-vivid streets now look like abandoned remains.