Over 1 million leave Athens

Over a million Athenians had left the city for the Easter holidays by yesterday, encouraged by favorable weather forecasts for the next three days. An estimated 400,000 cars full of holidaymakers have left Athens by the two main highways to northern and southern Greece over the past week, while thousands of travelers boarded ferries to the archipelago from Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion. Not all trips were smooth. Yesterday, 866 passengers on the Express Olympia ferry heading from Piraeus to Samos suffered a 16-hour delay after one of the ship’s two engines broke down off the coast of Icaria. The Express Olympia finally limped into Vathi at 9 a.m. yesterday. Motorists heading north out of Athens faced long highway jams yesterday afternoon due to a protest at Kapandriti by local authorities opposed to construction of a new rubbish dump in the area, who blocked the road for 25 minutes. Clear skies and warm weather have been forecast for most of the country over the next three days.