European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and eight EU leaders are flocking to Athens on Friday for the EUMED 9 Summit to be held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Culture Centre (SNFCC). The presence of the EU VIPs will disrupt traffic and public transport for security reasons.
The agenda of the Summit includes security challenges in the Mediterranean that endanger stability in the region, potential new crises, such as the threat of migration flows after the latest developments in Afghanistan, and other crises, the consequences of which Mediterranean countries are already experiencing, such as the climate change.
Next to host Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Commission President, leaders participating in the summit are: French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez, Italian PM Mario Draghi, Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Maltese PM Robert Abela, Slovenian PM Janez Jansa and Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva.
The summit takes place in the shadow of the Australia-UK-USA defense agreement that has Macron fuming and an EU reacting rather awkward.
The EUMED 9 summit will begin at 5:00 p.m. The leaders will make statements to the press at 7:40 p.m. and will attend a dinner later.
The presence of the officials has called for security measures and traffic regulations that will trouble residents of Athens and broader Attica.
Police has banned rallies in the center of Athens and outside the SNECC for reasons of “public safety.”
The Metro line to/from the Athens airport will be halted 3:30-4:00 pm Friday.
Also the services of the Proastiakos suburban railway network in Athens will run slightly modified from Thursday through Saturday, due to the VIPs arrivals at Athens International Airport
Some 36 trains over these three days will depart and end their routes at Koropi instead of Athens International Airport.
The Acropolis archaeological site will be closed to public 8:00 – 10:30 a.m. on Sunday due to the VIP visit.