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Society

Greek Highway Operator Denies Refusing Road Closure in Snowstorm

ATHENS – The management of the privately-run Attiki Odos Ring Road that surrounds the capital and was accused of bungling its handling of a snowstorm that saw thousands of cars trapped said it didn’t reject a request by traffic police to close it off as conditions worsened.

That report was on SKAI TV and said that the company that operates the major highway that links Athens to the international airport was asked for help hours later, but too late to do anything as vehicles became stuck.

SKAI said information showed that the traffic police made the request at 10 a.m. on Jan. 24 as the show came in slowly and then rapidly picked up, catching highway officials and the state unprepared despite being predicted.

More than 2,000 cars and over 4,500 people were stuck on the snowbound road for 10-20 hours in some cases and an undetermined number spending the freezing night in their cars with the Army handing out blankets.

Ministry for Climate Emergency and Citizens’ Protection sources not named told the station that, acording to the concession agreement with the state, it is the road operator which decides whether to close it.

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