G. Economou: The plan did not work – Window for compensation to trapped drivers

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The possibility for a lawsuit against the management company of Attiki Odos, but also the payment of compensation to the drivers who were trapped, was left open by the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and government representative, Giannis Oikonomou, speaking to the SKAI television station.

“The management of the Attiki Odos road under the responsibility of the company collapsed from the first moment. This is not a day to ping pong responsibilities. It is a day that we must continue the effort to free people. This government has no difficulty in taking “her responsibilities and she will do it, but also the responsibilities of others who had guaranteed that the roads would remain open, which did not happen, and they will be reimbursed,” he said.

Asked if the state would file a lawsuit, he replied that “what needs to be done, about the sanctions that need to be attributed, about the people who have suffered and we owe it to them to morally attribute these responsibilities, but also to be compensated, rest assured that it will be done with all the ways and tools that we have at our disposal “.

Mr. Oikonomou noted that the state should apologize to the drivers who were trapped, emphasizing that “our priority is on the one hand to reach their homes safely and on the other hand to restore electricity to thousands of households.” As he explained, there is difficulty in the access of HEDNO crews to the points, however his information is that they will gradually begin to be restored

As for the drivers who are still trapped, he said that during the night 1,800 vehicles were released and there are still 1,200 left, some of them abandoned and others with the drivers inside. “Efforts are being made to free everyone in the early hours of the morning,” he said.

“With the volume of snow, with the vehicles that are in the middle of the road, with the snowplows and the special machines that we bring from where it is possible, every possible effort is made to free them”, he added.

In this context, the government spokesman stressed that the civil protection in cooperation with the suburban will organize frequent and regular routes for people to leave both the airport and the approaching points to get the train home.

Trying to explain what was wrong, he said that “we experienced an unprecedented wave of bad weather and snow and all the predictions were exceeded. The information was that the snow would come later and not so intense and created all these problems, with basic and the inability of a major road on Attiki Odos to collapse, which completely collapsed “.

He admitted that when there are such problems, it turns out that the design did not work leaving a “window” for accountability. “Why it did not work and at what level, it will be fully explained to the people who were left in their cars and without electricity in their house. This is not the time for discussion now. When the city is restored, everything will be said.”

The government spokesman also left open the possibility of extending the holiday and closing schools tomorrow, noting that any announcements will be made later in the day.

“It was a very, very difficult night and a superhuman effort is underway to free Attiki Odos,” Giannis Oikonomou also said this morning, speaking on Alpha TV.

“The police, the army, the fire brigade, the civil protection all night, with a continuous effort managed to free about 1,800 vehicles. 3,000-3,500 people were transported during the night. Hiking units were there to distribute blankets to the people, “Water, food. The Suburban Railway was constantly taking people from the exit points to transport them to the airport,” the government spokesman said.

Mr. Oikonomou added: “There is no way this suffering that they experienced on a closed highway in Athens in the year 2022, our fellow citizens, who are there for hours, to remain like this and not give very clear explanations at all levels, from everyone, for what was to blame and what happened “.

Mr. Economou added that now we are still in a very difficult phase, given that the forecasts indicate that we will have difficulties again in a little while. “Superhuman efforts are being made to clean the Attiki Odos with snow machines, which we bring from where they are available. It is very difficult because there is a lot of snow and vehicles are abandoned because people, rightly, left to be protected. The Mediterranean has opened. “A huge effort will be made to open and make the other central streets of Athens safe and secure,” he underlined.

In addition, he noted that it is known in which streets, whose responsibility it was, elsewhere it worked relatively better, elsewhere it did not work at all.

“There are people who have suffered and are still suffering. We will get to that, but without forgetting that we had a snowfall, the volume and size of which was very, very large in a city that failed to manage it in operation. I understand the full indignation and anger of all the people who have suffered and are suffering. We owe explanations to these people. “And everything else on time, without hiding anything or rounding anything up,” he underlined.

Source From: Capital

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