Epirus’ journey from isolation to innovation

Before the opening of the Egnatia highway in 2009, Epirus was cut off from the rest of Greece. The airport at Ioannina, often blanketed in fog, has regular flight cancellations. Most residents tell stories of desperation and being trapped in the snow at the Katara Pass, or of the difficult and time-consuming journey to Athens. But the latter is now a breeze since 2017 with the Ionia highway. It took the Kathimerini team just four hours to reach Ioannina from the capital.

People from Epirus, who had been stranded alone on the Greek border, suddenly saw their region become a north-south and east-west hub, with Igoumenitsa upgraded as a sea gateway to Europe. As Greece was plunged into an economic crisis in 2010, a new era of optimism began in this remote area after centuries of poverty, typical of people living in isolation. How will the coming extroversion change the firmly...

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