Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis announced the reinstatement of the decades-old system which, he said, will for the first time do away with a large number of exemptions, allowing free entrance only to electric vehicles, CNG, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, Euro VI (low-emission) engines, and LPG cars.
“To date, there have been very many cars that were excluded. This will end,” he said.
Speaking on SKAI radio today, Karamanlis added that Euro 6 emissions standard vehicles will also have free access to the center of Athens. The goal, Karamanlis said, is to cut back by 50 percent on all permits granted in the past that allowed admission on all days.
He also announced plans to gradually extend the inner and outer “ring” (daktylios) to include a larger area in the center of Athens.
The news comes as part of an extensive overhaul of the public transportation system and of a series of measures to reduce pollution and traffic in the Greek capital.
He also said proposals to introduce tolls for admission into the center were currently “on the table”. Other measures include stricter loading and unloading rules as well as increased police patrols for compliance.