Storm brings snow, disruption to Greek capital


A winter storm brought snow to the Greek capital Athens, closing schools, nurseries and courts on Monday and disrupting both traffic and power supplies.

The government advised people to avoid non-essential travel and work from home if possible, in a bid to avoid the chaos caused by heavy snow last winter, for which the authorities came in for severe criticism.

The storm, dubbed Barbara by Greek meteorologists, reached Athens on Sunday afternoon after sweeping through the north of Greece and islands in the North Aegean Sea.

Authorities reopened both the roads to Athens international airport, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the center, and the main artery linking the city to Lamia in central Greece after they were closed for several hours early Monday morning.

The national civil protection service warned significant snowfall was expected on Monday morning in the Attica region around Athens, which is unused to harsh winters.

Around 3,500 people were trapped in their cars on the Athens ring road, and more than 200,000 homes and businesses were without power.