NRL of Crete: a history of grief and… garbage!

panagopoulosby Christos Panagopoulos – Nea TV Journalist

It was only a few days ago that I was sent to cover a news story about Crete’s main national road, which unites Kissamos with Sitia, the two corners of the island.

Until that day I have known that this is one of the most dangerous roads in the whole European Union. But after the story’s coverage, I realized it was more than that.

In the region of Chania, between Platanias and Tavronitis, garbage is being over-stacked at the left and the right lane of the National Road.

Drivers passing by think that the road is their garbage bin. Some people also think that the road’s parking lane is the most suitable place for someone to urinate (!) or even to throw away their litter.

This image honors no one at all.

And yet no one seems to care even to take responsibility for that. It was a month ago when Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, while visiting the island that promised to the Governor of Crete, Stavros Arnaoutakis, there would be an initiative to begin changing Crete’s highway image once and for all. Words, words, it always had to do with promises…

Still, the road is dangerous; with a lot of “traps” for the drivers, with reversed-slope curves, potholes, and wrong road signs.

No road lights are working, there are no organized rest areas for the drivers.

Traffic cameras are offline, some of them being “shotgunned” by some “brave” (mark the word “λεβέντες-levendes”) people.

The road is polluted; with garbage and dry leaves consisting a danger for a potential fire burst, especially at summer.

In my opinion, this whole case is inadmissible. No wonder why so many get killed in car accidents in this highway. And then you observe the local and regional authorities’ laments crying out that “we should do something about that”.

So, do it! It’s easy to bury one’s head in the sand and say “yes, there’s a problem, but we have no jurisdiction”. Car accidents and a National Road’s grim image do not know anything about jurisdiction!

Eventually, I end up thinking the deadliest weapon is not nowadays a gun or a rifle: but people’s indifference. It’s a shame!

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