NEWS

Greek roads trail in EU list

The Greek mainland has the worst record for road deaths of any other mainland region in the European Union, according to statistics released yesterday by the European Commission. The figure for road deaths on Greece’s mainland was 308 per million residents in 2006, the most recent statistics available. This is nearly double the average of 159 deaths per million residents in the 15 original EU states. Of all 27 EU states, Greece ranks fourth from the bottom on the list ahead of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It is feared that Greece’s poor record in this area is chiefly due to the Maliakos Gulf, a notoriously dangerous section of road in central Greece, and other hot spots on the national highway linking Athens and Thessaloniki. Contributing to the problem are the large number of cars and motorcycles on the roads and reckless behavior of many motorists. Drunk driving appears to be at relatively low levels but this may be due to the inconsistent reporting of incidents.