Potholes to cost councils dear?

Municipal and prefectural authorities may soon be forced to directly compensate motorists for injuries and damage to their vehicles suffered from use of Greece’s often badly built and atrociously maintained road network. In a meeting yesterday, the State Ombudsman and a delegation of officials representing municipal and prefectural authorities agreed in principle to create a formula allowing direct, out-of-court settlement of such cases. The tentative deal is expected to be finalized during new talks next week. If the agreement holds, it will be submitted to the Interior Ministry, which would then draft a bill on the matter to be submitted to Parliament. Until now, all such cases were settled in lengthy court fights which often ended up with local authorities being ordered to pay compensation that well exceeded the value of the actual damage caused. Under yesterday’s tentative deal, local authorities would only compensate motorists for injuries suffered and repairs to their vehicles, without further payments for lost revenue and moral damages.