“The Base Line of the Thessaloniki Metro will be completed in 2015”, this is what Mr. Yiannis Mangriotis, Deputy Minister of YPOMEDI, confirmed during a meeting held with the representatives of the political parties and the deputies of Thessaloniki Prefecture, pointing out that this is an absolutely feasible objective, since:
- Archaeological excavation works have been accelerated through the use of new technical means, additional shifts and a close and effective cooperation with the Ministry of Culture. Consequently, the archaeological works are now scheduled to be completed in 2012 instead of 2013, as initially planned.
- Solutions were given to many pending problems, which arose upon commencement of the works in 2007, due to the fact that the project was put to tender, even though the relevant designs had not been completed.
- The funding of the Project has been totally secured and the Greek State is absolutely consistent to its funding flow.
- The Memorandum of Cooperation signed with the local agencies, the local government, Chambers etc., ensures that problems arising during the execution of the works are immediately solved, as in the case of the city entrepreneurs.
The meeting held in the area of EFKLIDIS Metro Station was attended by the Chairman of the BoD and Managing Director of ATTIKO METRO S.A. Mr. Christos Tsitouras, who informed the representatives of the political world on the Project, Mr. George Konstantinidis, Thessaloniki Metro Projects Manager, and other executives of the company.
Further to the invitation addressed by the Deputy Minister of YPOMEDI, the following deputies of Thessaloniki Prefecture participated in the meeting, namely Messrs. Stavros Kalafatis, Angelos Kolokotronis, Thomas Rombopoulos andSavvas Anastasiadis, the Secretary of the 1st Prefectural Committee of “PASOK” Mr. Christos Papastergiou, the representative of “Nea Dimokratia” Ms. Korinna Soilemetzidou, the representatives of “Oikologoi Prasinoi” Ms. Eleana Ioannidou and Mr. Odysseas Keramitzis, the representative of “Synaspismos” Ms. Betty Perka, the representative of “Dimokratiki Aristera” Ms. Asimina Xirotyri and the representative of “Arma Politon” Mr. George Hatziathanassiou. Moreover, the meeting was also attended by the Chairman of the Technical Chamber of Greece/Sector of Central Macedonia Mr. Tasos Konaklidis, the Vice Mayor of Kalamaria Mr. Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, the representative of the Mayor of Thermi Mr. Yiannis Tzikas and the Manager of the Constructing Joint Venture Mr. Michael Simas.
Mr. Mangriotis stressed that:
“The intention of the political leadership of YPIMEDI, already expressed many months ago, is to set up a permanent, multi-party Committee regularly informed on the Project, acting in full support of the Project, since “the Metro unites us all, is a project much needed by the city and, as it is known, solutions are achieved through cooperation and dialogue”; Mr. Mangriotis also stated that within the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation with the local agencies, ATTIKO METRO S.A./Thessaloniki Metro is already in cooperation with local government organizations, the University community and representatives of labor personnel and productive classes.
The Deputy Minister added that:
“True to our commitments, despite numerous doubts, the designs for the extension of the Metro to Kalamaria up to Mikra, have been completed earlier than scheduled, the Joint Ministerial Decision – Approval of Environmental Terms was signed and, yesterday, Mr. Tsitouras, Chairman of the BoD and Managing Director of ATTIKO METRO S.A., submitted to the competent Managing Authority of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (YPEKA) the envelope for the integration and funding of the project in the Operational Program “Environment and Sustainable Development” amounting to 425 million EURO”.
Responding to the questions raised, Mr. Mangriotis stated that:
“The execution rate of the works has been accelerated through the transfer of the Managing Department of the Project to Thessaloniki; however, the Administrative Authority is and shall remain uniform at least for the time period required for ATTIKO METRO S.A. know-how to be transferred to Thessaloniki and for as long as we need the financial support of ATTIKO METRO S.A. – in my estimation, this will take approximately one year”.
The Deputy Minister stated that, based on the governmental order, ATTIKO METRO S.A., following consultations with the Local Government, is about to complete the design for the alignment of another westbound extension from the New Railway Station to Xirokrini, Menemeni, Ambelokipi, El. Kordelio and Evosmos. In addition, the extension of the line from Panepistimio to Toumba, Harilaou and N. Elvetia, as well as the extension from Mikra to the Airport is also planned.
Mr. Mangriotis pointed out that if we all continue working at this pace exhibiting the same spirit of cooperation, by 2020 we can have a 33 km-long integrated network of Metro lines in Thessaloniki consisting of 33 stations.
Extension to Kalamaria
Mr. Christos Tsitouras, Chairman of the BoD and Managing Director of ATTIKO METRO S.A., stated that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study for the extension to Kalamaria has been signed and that the relevant envelope concerning its funding has been submitted to the Managing Authority. In October 2011, the relevant designs and the tender documents shall be handed over to the bidders pre-selected during Phase A of the Tender and, should no legal entanglements arise, the construction of this extension shall commence in summer 2012.
With regard to the westbound extension – namely a 6.5km line from Dimokratias Square, along Langada Street up to Efkarpia, as well as its extension to the Hospitals – Phase A of the designs has been completed and it is anticipated that the relevant Detailed Designs to be put to tender at the end of 2011 shall be completed in 2013, when the project shall be tendered, on condition that its integration into a funding scheme has been secured.
As regards the location of the Depot, the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A., responding to questions, stated that the option related to Mikra was not selected due to the negative opinion of the Supreme State Council. Consequently, the improvement of Pylaia Depot, through the acquisition of an additional area, is now considered by ATTIKO METRO S.A., so that, based on the rationalization of the Project, a safe and complete Depot is constructed, capable of covering the needs of the Base Project and all future extensions.
Moreover, with regard to NEA ELVETIA Station, the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. stated that the proposal of the Municipality of Thessaloniki for its relocation to Nea Elvetia Park shall be examined, while he also added that VOULGARI Station is located at a very close distance (approx. 250m) from the former NOMARCHIA Station/ Kalamaria extension and that the optimum solution should be sought.
Works at ANALIPSI Station
Finally, he stressed that any solutions or modifications under consideration fall within the framework of the existing Thessaloniki Metro contract. The same applies for the additional expenditure, such as the allocation of an additional amount of 8 million EURO for soil improvement in ANALIPSI Station and approximately 75 million EURO for archaeological survey.
Mr. George Konstantinidis, Thessaloniki Metro Projects Manager, then referred to the progress of the construction works in detail, stating that tunneling works are completed at a percentage of 63%, while three more stations will be added in summer to the map of the constructed works, namely NEW RAILWAY Station, ANALIPSI Station, SINTRIVANI Station.
Particular reference was also made to the acceleration of the archaeological excavations, deemed absolutely critical for the progress of the Project, since Thessaloniki Metro network crosses the center of a major city with a history of 23 centuries, as well as to the settlement of complex technical issues, as the case of ANALIPSI Station.
Further to this fruitful discussion, ATTIKO METRO S.A. Management takes into consideration all the remarks and views expressed and commits itself that, any decision taken until the present day, as well as any future decisions shall be governed by public interest.