Parking fines provoke anger

A crackdown on illegal parking in Thessaloniki has fueled protests by motorists who say the city does not offer enough parking places and that fines for illegal parking are too high. Municipal police issue as many as 500 fines of between 20 and 80 euros per day, protesters say. «The crackdown is for the purpose of revenue collection,» Giorgos Theodoropoulos of a residents’ group told Kathimerini. His group condemns authorities for failing to provide adequate facilities for motorists and says 30,000 additional parking spaces are needed. «The situation benefits the city’s private garages, which charge astronomical amounts for parking,» Theodoropoulos said. «High fines and policing are not enough,» said Petros Kritikos of the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers. He wants central roads to be shut off periodically and public transport services to be boosted.