Head rolls over shutdown of national highway

Head rolls over shutdown of national highway

A director of the department responsible for Attica’s motorways was sacked on Tuesday for omissions and mistakes that led to the shutdown of a section of the national highway connecting Athens to Lamia on Monday.

The decision was taken after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ordered Citizens Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis to investigate the reasons behind the closure that caused major traffic disruptions, inconveniencing scores of drivers.

With the Zenovia weather front bringing heavy snow, rain and low temperatures on Monday, authorities were blasted over a lack of proper traffic management which led to the closure of a section of the highway near the Malakasa junction, some 30 kilometers from the capital.

Referring to the sacking of the official, the PM’s office said in a statement that "everybody must fulfill the tasks they have undertaken."

"Spreading responsibility ultimately results in no one being held accountable. This government will not tolerate this. We are all judged. The obligation of the State is to ensure there is smooth traffic flow. Drivers are also required to strictly adhere strictly to the instructions they receive," the statement said. 

Senior executives of the company in charge of managing the road, Nea Odos, are being asked why traffic was so seriously disrupted.

The PM’s office statement noted that among the company’s contractual obligations is to take all measures for the "smooth operation of the project."

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