Traffic, transit services in chaos

The traffic restrictions aimed at providing security for the visiting dignitaries and their delegations’ quick transfer between the airport and hotels in Vouliagmeni caused complete chaos for drivers yesterday as they came into effect gradually from 1.30 p.m. Things will be even worse today, in order to facilitate the visiting delegations’ transfer from their hotels to the Zappeion Hall and the Ancient Agora and back again. From 6 a.m. to midnight all traffic will be banned along the beachfront, Syngrou Avenue, Amalias Avenue, Vassilis Olgas and all streets in the areas of Zappeion, the Acropolis and Plaka. Similar restrictions will apply between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. tomorrow. Bus and trolley routes will be diverted. Also, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, the electric railway line between Omonia and Thiseion stations will not function, meaning that passengers will have to walk between these two stations. From 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow, the Acropolis metro station will not function, though trains will pass through it. Aside from these restrictions, there will also be problems caused by demonstrations. Yesterday, anti-war protesters staged a rally in central Athens between Omonia and Syntagma squares. Today, there will be a rally at Syntagma and Kolokotroni squares at 11 a.m., followed by a march to the embassies of the United States, Britain and Italy. A second protest is to begin at 4.30 p.m., with meeting points in Syntagma, Omonia and Klafthmonos squares, followed by a march to the US Embassy. Protests have been banned elsewhere. Some 11,000 police officers will be on duty to provide security and to ensure that traffic bans are enforced.