Piraeus poised for blockade

Thousands of people intending to travel to an island for the upcoming long weekend could have their plans upset after Piraeus Mayor Panayiotis Fassoulas said yesterday that he would go ahead with plans to block the port tomorrow. More than 88,000 passengers sailed from Piraeus for the Whitsun (Pentecost) holiday last year and the Piraeus Traders’ Association said yesterday that blocking the port would damage local businesses and tourism in general. Fassoulas is due to meet with Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis today in a last-ditch attempt to break the deadlock. The former basketball player has said that the government is holding back some 1.5 million euros a month from the municipality and that this prevents the local authority from conducting its business properly.