Car-free Europe

The usually jammed seaside promenade in Thessaloniki, Nikis Avenue, was free for pedestrians and cyclists on Saturday as the northern city joined in the Europe-wide campaign for a car-free day. Thousands of people took to the empty streets of Athens and many other cities and towns with their bicycles and on foot, to attend the many artistic events that had been planned. Public transport was free for the day. The 2002 draft budget will be submitted to a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, ahead of schedule. It forecasts a budget surplus equal to 1.5 percent of GDP, based on economic growth of 4.5 percent. The latter figure may well have to be revised downward.