Big chill wreaks havoc in Europe

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Big chill wreaks havoc in Europe

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A pre-Christmas cold snap has sparked chaos in parts of Europe, with misery for motorists struggling to get from A to B.

Snowfall snarled roads around Paris. Some stuck in lengthy tailbacks slammed French local authorities, saying handling of the severe weather conditions left a lot to be desired.

“It is catastrophic,” said one woman, stranded in a long line of traffic not far from the capital. “Frankly, it had been forecast for days, so I don’t understand why they did not make provisions to grit. We have been stuck in the middle of the countryside for hours.”

There were delays at Charles de Gaulle airport for would-be flyers. Those with their feet on the ground had some picture postcard views of Paris although the Eiffel Tower was closed to visitors.

One woman in the capital said she wanted the wintry weather to last, hoping for 10 centimetres of the white stuff for 3 or 4 days.

Spain has had its own share of heavy snowfall, with temperatures dropping to as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius. And with more extreme conditions expected, there, too, not everyone is happy at how it is all being handled.

“It never seems that enough measures are taken,” said one man, stuck behind the wheel in a traffic jam.

As Spain shivers and France freezes, the big chill is also biting in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Britain.