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Transport situation in Northern Greece

07 February 2013

According to the Greek authorities and the Bulgarian Consulate General in Thessaloniki, the traffic situation in Northern Greece remains difficult and very changeable because of the large groups of agricultural machinery in the area of the main arterial roads in the Promachonas-Serres and Serres-Thessaloniki directions, as well as in the streets of the city of Thessaloniki. According to police, currently there are no major traffic difficulties, with the exception of some sporadic clashes between police and protesting farmers, which free up affected road sections.


At present, ferry connections at Greek ports have been restored, the situation is gradually normalising and the operation of regular services has started. Port workers are continuing to mobilise and will take part in the Confederation of Greek Workers general strike on February 20 2013.


Bulgarian citizens who will be travelling should avoid these routes, including Greek ports on the day of the general strike announced for February 20 2013 and the following few days, and should inquire in advance of the carriers whether any of them expect problems or scheduling delays because of the stepped-up strike activity by port workers.


Those travelling by sea should take into consideration their rights under Regulation no 1177/ 2010 of the European Parliament and Council. Under the regulation, in the event of cancellation or delay of passenger service, passengers are entitled to compensation, unless the cancellation or delay is caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship or extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even after taking all reasonable measures, are not inherent in the normal operations of the carrier concerned and are beyond its control. The extraordinary circumstances include, among others, natural disasters, labour disputes (strikes) and maritime rescue operations.


In the event of a delay of more than 90 minutes or cancellation of a passenger service or a cruise, provided that it is reasonably possible, passengers shall be offered free snacks, meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time. When the delay or cancellation of departure requires an additional stay of a night or more, the carrier shall offer the passenger suitable accommodation for free on board or ashore, and transport between the port terminal and place of accommodation.


The passenger has no right to assistance from the carrier if he was notified of the cancellation or delay before the purchase of the ticket. Also not eligible are passengers with open tickets as long as the time of departure is not specified, except for passengers who have subscription or season ticket.

The existence of a contract for passenger service, which entitles the aforementioned benefits, is proven by a valid document or other evidence of contract of carriage (tickets).

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