After Greece’s Snowstorm: What Applies in Affected Areas on Thursday and Friday
Following Greece’s winter snowstorm named “Elpis” (Hope), which on Monday swept across a number of areas and brought cold weather, power outages, traffic chaos and a two-day shutdown, Greece’s government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou on Wendesday informed how schools, shops and services will operate over the next two days in Attica and regions affected.
More specifically, Oikonomou announced:
– Schools will remain closed on Thursday and Friday with classes taking place virtually.
– Nurseries, kindergartens and day care centers will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.
– For businesses in the private sector, the government strongly recommends that employees work remotely where possible. Public sector employees will work remotely in services where possible and depending on the nature of their duties.
– Courts will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.
– Shops may operate from 10am to 6pm for the next two days.
– Food delivery services and courier services are prohibited on Thursday.
– Scheduled Covid vaccinations for children at the Prometheus vaccination center and at the Pentelis Children’s Hospital will not take place on Thursday. Vaccinations in other locations for children and adults will take place normally. For those who can not keep their scheduled appointment, an sms will be sent to reschedule.
The Hellenic Bank Association announced that branches in the affected areas of Attica, Viotia, Evia, Crete and South Aegean, will reopen to the public on Thursday. The association however recommended for citizens to limit their visits as much as possible citing that branches may temporarily have a limited number of employees or changes in opening hours due to the aftermath of the snowstorm. Citizens who plan to go to a bank are advised to call in advance.
Greek PM issues apology
Speaking during an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledged the inadequate response of the state to the snowstorm and apologized to those affected.
“We had an unprecedented snowfall, but I will not use that as an excuse. There were failures and inadequacies that need to be corrected,” he later wrote on Twitter.
Monday’s snowstorm paralyzed a number of areas and roads across Greece, including the privately-run Attiki Odos highway where some 1,800 vehicles and 3,500 people were trapped for hours.
The Greek PM promised that an investigation would take place with regard to the failure of the company managing the 70-kilometer highway and said that motorists who were trapped would receive compensation. It is noted that the company’s CEO, Vassilis Halkias, resigned on Tuesday.