Minister for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Christos Stylianides has acknowledged the insufficient response of the state to the winter storm that affected large parts of the country and the need to apologize to the citizens.
“There’s no doubt this was a very difficult phenomenon, with a snowstorm that rarely happens. But, there’s also no doubt that there were deficiencies at all levels of implementation; that’s why I emphasized from the start that the authorities must apologize,” Stylianides told Skai TV Tuesday night.
The minister added that there were specific actions that exacerbated the problem.
“The intensity of the phenomena exceeded all forecasts, but this is not an excuse,” he said, adding that the situation in Attiki Odos, with well over 1,000 cars trapped in the snow, would not have been so grave if the plans had been imlemented in the same way as they were on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway, the country’s major north-south route.
“Attiki Odos (the operator of the motorway around Athens) told us that they had sufficient equipment,” Stylianides said, referring to meetings ahead of the storm. “Unfortunately, it seems it couldn’t implement its own plans. “There was no coordination with traffic police, like it happened on the (Athens-Thessaloniki) highway,” he added.
Attiki Odos’ CEO of 22 years, Bill M. Halkias, resigned Tuesday following his company’s disastrous handling of the emergency.