Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsIconic Traffic Policeman of Greece, "Moustakias," Dies

Iconic Traffic Policeman of Greece, “Moustakias,” Dies

Nikos Kotsakis 'Mustachios' the traffic policeman in Athens has died.
Iconic traffic policeman, Nikos Kotsakis, widely known as ‘Moustakias’  has died. Credit: RobW. CC BY 2.0/flickr

A beloved and popular traffic policeman in Athens, Greece, nicknamed “Moustakias,” who witnessed the city during some of its worst traffic nightmares in the ’80s and ’90s, has died, according to a recent social media post.

Given the affectionate nickname “Moustakias,” as a result of his bushy black moustache, Nikos Kotsakis resided in the suburb of Maroussi and worked mostly on the Kifisias Avenue junction at Agia Varvara, the main exit for Psychiko, Filothei, and Halandri.

Described by many as “our national traffic warden,” the announcement of Kotsakis’ death on a community Facebook page was met by dozens of posts from motorists commenting on his kind manner and skillful traffic management. The post did not specify his age or cause of death.

In the post, it is said that Kotsakis was one of fifteen siblings born into a poor family in Ilia on the Peloponnese. He worked as a farmhand starting at the age of fifteen until he joined the profession for which he was best known and celebrated.

Themis Kalamatas, a member of the Hellenic Police team, also took to social media to praise the late traffic controller. He wrote, “The Hellenic Police team and I personally honor the leading traffic warden of all time, the favorite of all drivers, the maestro of traffic regulation by placing on the team’s profile for 10 days from today the now historic figure of Nikos Kotsakis, as soon as his loss became known. Traffic police officer Nikos Kotsakis is immortal forever.”

Early Years of Moustakias, Athens’ Traffic Policeman

In an interview with Real News in 2012, Kotsakis elaborated on how he got into the traffic policing profession, saying, “I was destined to be. I met three gendarmes when I was a farmhand and I noticed that all three were respectable persons in society. The appearance, the air they exuded, the courtesy, the kindness.”

He continued, “And I said to them ‘I am a farmer now, but I don’t want to stay in the fields, I want a better fortune.’ Not that the fields is a disgrace. My bloody hands, the roses on my fingers, the discipline I had imposed on myself, it all started there.”

Moustakias, Athens’ best known traffic policeman, told Real News he had another reason for wanting to leave the farming behind, adding, “My mother was a dictator, in a good way. She kept us under strict discipline, with dialogue. Of course, I wasn’t trying to stray [from] her law, but I was young, and so, sighing, and with a pain in my soul, I left home.”

“After that,” he continued, “I asked the three gendarmes if I could join, and they said I fit the bill like a glove.”

Kotsakis also remarked on other parts of his childhood. “My mother tried to marry me off in a hurry to keep me close by,” he said, “and I was an obedient child, but I changed. If the commander had been stood opposite me and there was a traffic jam—with constant rain chilling me to the bone—and he told me to take a rest and move away from the road, I wouldn’t have gone. I would stay forever if I had to.”

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts