The road to the EU?

The railway accident on the Kalamata-Athens route this week brought to mind two different journeys having one thing in common. They show how Greece differs from its EU counterparts in its perception of modernization and progress. Many months ago, we were driving from Frankfurt to Mainz when we saw what appeared to be a large road which, although evidently under construction, appeared even more immaculate than the highway on which we were driving. Our German fellow travelers informed us that the «road» was actually the foundation for a railway track, along which trains would travel at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, and which would form part of a transnational railway network. On another, more frequently conducted, journey between Athens to Corinth, we have been observing the painfully slow construction, parallel to the new highway, of what is eventually destined to be a railway line. Works have been under way for more than four years, but there is no talk of super-fast speeds. Our new railway line will resemble what our European counterparts have been using for the last 20-30 years. The main point, however, is that the above railway line, and the national highway, suddenly «disappear» somewhere outside Corinth, and no one knows when or how both routes will be extended to Patras. The worry is how much worse things would be if it wasn’t for the time pressures of the Olympic Games…

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