Official quits amid rail chaos

The head of the company overseeing the operation of the capital?s metro, tram and the Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP), Yiannis Spyrakos, was forced to quit Friday after bad coordination between ISAP and the Transport Ministry resulted in serious disruptions to the route?s services, inconveniencing thousands of commuters.

A ministry statement said that Spyrakos had resigned ?on the order of Transport Minister Yiannis Ragousis.?

The confusion appears to have arisen because authorities had arranged for Friday the obligatory transfer of 144 ISAP staff to other positions in the broader state sector, most to Culture Ministry posts as guards for the country?s understaffed museums.

According to sources, the ministry had intended to postpone the scheduled transfers but this decision was never made public. As a result, a severe shortage of staff on the ISAP route Friday meant that trains were running far less frequently than usual — every 20 to 30 minutes rather than every 10 minutes. It is expected that services will not return to normal until Wednesday.

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