NEWS

Minister pledges toll fare exemption for residents, homeowners in eastern Attica

Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis on Tuesday said that residents in the eastern Attica town of Oropos as well as owners of holiday homes in the area will be exempt from paying toll fares when traveling to and from the coastal region.

Speaking on Skai Television on Tuesday morning, Chrysochoidis said that residents and homeowners at Oropos would have to present some form of proof of residence, either from the municipality or from the Public Power Corporation, in order to be exempted. He added that the regulation may be extended to include other municipalities in the vicinity.

His comments come after a protest on Sunday, during which some 500 residents of Oropos, a municipality with a permanent population of some 40,000, gathered at the Malakasa toll station and set fire to a toll booth.

The mayor of Oropos, Yiannis Oikonomakos, two of his deputies and another six people are to face a prosecutor on Tuesday in connection with the protest.

Sunday's rally had been organized by the municipality, which argues that Oropos is surrounded by eight separate toll stations and that rate hikes will harm local travel and well as tourism in the area.

Toll rates have gone up by as much as 60 percent in parts of Greece since the start of the year, sparking reactions from regular commuters and produce and goods distribution agents, who say that the cost of the hikes will inevitably be passed onto consumers.

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