THESSSALONIKI METRO: Cooperation between Attiko Metro S.A and the Society of Literary Artists of Thessaloniki “The Metro as the vehicle for highlighting the culture of the city”

Cooperation between Attiko Metro S.A  

and the Society of Literary Artists of Thessaloniki

“The Metro as the vehicle for highlighting the culture of the city”

 

The Chairman of Attiko Metro S.A., Professor Yannis Mylopoulos, the President of the Society of Literary Artists of Thessaloniki Mr. Ilias Koutsoukos and its members Vagelis Tassiopoulos and Dimitris Brouchos gave a press conference today, Friday, April 27, in ATTIKO METRO S.A. premises at Thessaloniki.

The object of this press conference was to present, on the occasion of the World Day of Poetry, the actions that have been co-organized by the above two entities in the last two years.

The cooperation begun in 2017, when poems written by Giorgos Vafopoulos, Zoi Karelli and Manolis Anagnostakis were place as decoration on the worksite fencing of AGIA SOFIA Station. This action was repeated in 2018, when an enormous banner was placed at the same worksite with the emblematic verse by Manolis Anagnostakis that reads:

words have to be driven like nails so as not to be blown away by the wind”

Today and in the framework of the 15th International Book Expo in Thessaloniki, a large banner has been placed at Sintrivani worksite of the Metro which reads:

Thessaloniki, the city of the open book

With an open window overlooking the waves, as a background

Casting light on the other aspect of love”

Kleitos Kyrou 

 

The Chairman of Attiko Metro S.A., Professor Yannis A. Mylopoulos, initially made a reference to the rapid pace in which the Metro works have been progressing in the last two years and went on to stress that the Metro will serve as the place and the vehicle for highlighting culture and cultural creation in Thessaloniki, both during the Metro construction phase, but also during its operation, by turning various stations into open museums and cultural creation sites.

As the Chairman of Attiko Metro S.A. put it “The city’s culture, history and tradition are its comparative advantages. Through the Metro construction works, the city of Thessaloniki discovers and reveals its cultural heritage, which has beneficial influence on its economic growth, while at the same time the city acquires a modern infrastructure project that will resolve once and for all its long-standing public transport problem”.

The two entities are committed not to abandon their common actions, which are aiming at highlighting and promoting culture in Thessaloniki.

On the occasion of the press conference, it was announced that during the 15th International Book Expo to take place in the facilities of Thessaloniki International Fair, there will be a photography exposition, displaying the archaeological finds unearthed during the Metro construction works. The opening ceremony for this exposition will be on Friday, May 4th, 2018, at 16:00 – 17:00.

Attachments: (1) the text of the entire speech given by Professor Yannis A. Mylopoulos during the press conference on the common actions organized by Attiko Metro S.A. and the Society of Literary Artists of Thessaloniki, (2) the Response given by Professor Yannis A. Mylopoulos to a question related to the current consultations on the Metro line extension  to the west suburbs of Thessaloniki, and (3) the Response given by Professor Yannis A. Mylopoulos to questions related to recent articles about the progress of the Metro construction works.

“METRO AND CULTURE”

Statement made by the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A.,

Professor Yannis A. Mylopoulos

We are all citizens of this city sensing the intense historical background and the undisturbed historical continuity for centuries.

The unprecedented dilemma “Either antiquities or Metro”, meaning that the city of Thessaloniki could not stand the coexistence of tradition and culture with the construction of the major infrastructure project ever built in our city, was then reformulated to “Neither antiquities nor Metro”, since the entire project along with its excavation activities stopped.

Over the last two years, Thessaloniki has been experiencing an incredible reversal. Metro works resumed in March 2016 on a new and solid basis. All acute problems that brought the project to a dead end are now being solved one by one.

One of the most critical innovations that cast the project off the shackles of disunity of the past is the change in policy as regards management of the archaeological finds revealed in the two central Metro Stations, i.e. Venizelou and Aghia Sofia.

On the basis of the new policy, the city of Thessaloniki needs the Metro Project and its cultural heritage to coexist under an innovative design that bridges technology and culture.

The Metro works are now changing Thessaloniki that discovers and reveals its cultural heritage, a fact that positively affects its economic development and boosts its financial growth. A modern means of infrastructure that will solve once and for all Thessaloniki’s long-lasting transportation problem and will upgrade the environmental conditions and the quality of life is about to be handed over to its residents.

However, Metro and Culture will continue to co-exist beyond the construction phase of the Metro system throughout its revenue service.

Except the two central stations that are being designed as open archaeological sites, all remaining stations of Thessaloniki Metro will follow the same design concept so that the dimensions of culture can dominate in the entire system.

Hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of Thessaloniki, who will use the Metro System for their transfers, will have the chance to get in contact with culture and admire its works of art daily.

On this occasion, I would like to point out the important role that art can play in times of deep recession and major depression: art can delight our heart; artistic creation can keep us alive, since it reminds us of the value and the power of human intervention in society and life itself.

Today, the joint presence of ATTIKO METRO S.A. and the Society of Literary Artists of Thessaloniki symbolizes the belief that the Metro, a major technical project, can indeed constitute the birthplace of culture.

 

  1. Answer of the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A., Professor Yannis Mylopoulos, to questions on recent publications concerning the progress of the works in the Thessaloniki Metro

 

Professor Y. Mylopoulos: “Our work is the answer to their lies”

The old political establishment of Thessaloniki, the one that made Metro sound like a joke, shows up today launching verbal attacks, spreading lies and false information, in order to conceal that we managed to succeed right where they have failed.

In the last days, a well-organized effort is underway by the old political establishment of Thessaloniki aiming at putting to question the progress made so far in the Metro works.

The effort is organized by the ones who are responsible for making Metro sound like a joke and turning Thessaloniki into the capital of poverty, unemployment and …. metal sheet fencing.

As they have no worthy proposal about the city itself, they attempt by twisting reality and spreading untrue information, to question all our efforts.

Obviously, they are cannot stand seeing us succeed right where they have failed.

I have news for them; palpable reality cannot be refuted.

As we can all remember, the project was launched in 2006 having 2012 as its deadline.

On the contrary, instead of being delivered in 2012, and even before antiquities were revealed, the project had already noted a five-year delay.

We all know what happened next. The dilemma “either antiquities or metro” divided the city of Thessaloniki, leading to the stoppage of all Metro works in 2014.

The dilemma was then reformulated to: “neither antiquities, nor metro”.

Let me remind you that when we took the helm of the company in 2016, the status of the Project was the following:

The city of Thessaloniki was full of metal sheet fencing.

Worksites were idle.

Thousands of employees engaged in the Metro works were unemployed.

Hundreds of millions of euro of approved funds remained frozen in the banks at a time when the city and the country were more than eager for investments.

Today, 2 years after, nothing is reminiscent of the past.

All pending issues have been settled and the problems of the project have been addressed.

The Metro project was launched again on new and solid foundation.

When we took over the reins, the Metro Project had reached a completion percentage of 40% within in a period of ten troubled years. In just two years, we managed to bring it to 65%.

This means that the project is running three times faster, as compared to the past.

The absorption of the funds exceeded 200 million euro in 2017 on Thessaloniki and Kalamaria Line.

Thοusands of employees are currently engaged in the Metro Project.

As far as the metal sheets are concerned, they are becoming less and less, since the streets of the city are handed over to the public after many long years.

Finally, now that the Metro Project is back on track and progresses and that for the first time its completion is looming on the horizon, it’s time to plan the future and start discussing about westbound and eastbound Metro extensions.

As regards Venizelou, where zero progress had been made when we assumed our duties, all these rumors about its delayed completion as compared to the remaining Project remind us of the patricide who appeals for clemency just because he is orphan…

They are blaming us for what they have caused for years and years…

The response to misinformation, to lies and their unfair attacks is the progress achieved in the execution of Metro works and the image of the city of Thessaloniki which at last has turned the page and moves on and, for the first time after a number of decades, regains its lost confidence…

  1. Response of the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. Professor Yannis Mylopoulos to question about the consultation for the extension of Thessaloniki Metro to the western suburbs

“All proposals made by the Municipalities of Thessaloniki and the city’s stakeholders about the planning of the new Metro Lines are taken into account and are considered by ATTIKO METRO S.A. with the utmost care. Soon, we will have substantiated responses to each proposal submitted in the framework of the Public Consultation and our company will make every possible effort to satisfy as many requests as feasible, always assuming that the Metro Project must be viable and can ensure its funding. Those requests that will not be satisfied at this phase will either be integrated into the future planning of ATTIKO METRO S.A., or they will be communicated to the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport to be part of its wider planning scheme”.

 

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