Rally forced to detour around Mt Parnitha

The body that manages the national park on Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, has refused the organizers of the Acropolis Rally, which begins next Thursday, to hold a stage of the race through the forest, it emerged yesterday. A special stage of the rally was held on Parnitha two years ago but officials decided there are particular reasons this year for not allowing the rally cars through the forest, which is still recovering from a devastating wildfire last summer. «If the cars slow down and keep to the speed limit in that area, they are welcome to come through,» the head of the Parnitha National Park management body, Dimitris Spathis, told Kathimerini. However, officials have allowed the Acropolis Rally to set up its press office and operations center at the former royal estate in Tatoi for the duration of this year’s race, although they said this would be the last time.