The Athens-Lamia national highway will remain shut down until 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. The country’s most important highway connecting the South to the North was supposed to open at 7 p.m. on Tuesday after a closure of 24 hours.
The Attica section of the highway includes Kalyftakis Bridge in Kifissia, northern Athens, to the borders with Viotia (Boeotia) prefecture. Travel from Viotia onwards will be open.
The extension of the shut down take place as the snow weather is weakening and moving more to the South.
Also the shut down for some 12 hours on Monday morning was for “preventive reasons.”
According to opposition media, the shut down by the state makes it possible for the managing company to “escape” from a possible penalty of up to one million euros.
The relevant provision for the exemption of the fine exists in law 4663/20 that was passed exactly one year ago. In particular, the law provides that a fine is imposed under certain conditions and if the traffic is stopped due to adverse weather conditions for more than an hour.
According to tvxs.gr, “an administrative fine from five thousand (5,000) euros up to one million (1,000,000) euros is imposed by a decision of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport or its competent body, depending on the gravity of the incident (…) ». That is, the company has an obligation to keep the road open, which means activating a mechanism of cleanliness and safety of people, high cost; otherwise it faces a fine.
However no amount will be paid, as the precautionary decision to shut down the highway was taken by the state and not the company.
Former Minister Pavlos Polakis (SYRIZA) made the same claim with a post on social media.
On state broadcaster ERT TV it was said early Tuesday evening that “it is good the national highway is shut down because of snowfall and black-out.”
The snowfall was not extreme and yes, there was power outage in surrounding areas like in many suburbs of northern Athens.
PS I wouldn’t know cars are underway only during the day and under fair weather….