PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledges failures, offers apology in wake of snowstorm

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has acknowledged the insufficient response of the state to the winter storm that affected Athens and large parts of the country, while offering an apology to those affected by the failures.

Speaking during an emergency cabinet meeting Wednesday, Mitsotakis vowed an investigation into the failure of the company managing the Attiki Odos beltway that rigns the Greek capital to maintain normal traffic conditions.

He said that the thousands of toll-paying motorists who became trapped on the highway in their cars and trucks during Monday’s blizzard would receive compensation from the company. The company CEO resigned amid the controversy Tuesday.

The passengers of Monday’s Athens-Thessaloniki line that experienced difficulties following an accident in Fthiotis and the heavy snowfall caused by the Elpis weather front would also be compensated, he said.

In a thinly-disguised criticism of Attica region authorities, Mitsotakis said authorities would review why traffic was so heavily disrupted on key Athens roadways including Mesogeion Avenue.

While warding off criticism against the newly-established Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection as premature, the prime minister acknowledged the need for better coordination between the central and local administration as well as other responsible agencies.

Earlier Wednesday, the country’s leftist SYRIZA opposition urged the government to resign over the failures.