Mr. Ioannis Mangriotis, Deputy Minister of Infrastructures, Transportation and Networks, visited today ATTIKO METRO A.E. Premises in Thessaloniki and had a meeting with the Management of the Company.
In the subject meeting, Mr. Mangriotis was informed about the progress of ATTIKO METRO A.E. works, as well as about the problems that have been encountered during the construction of the METRO Project in specific stations.
Further on, Mr. Mangriotis, accompanied by Mr. G. Yannis, Chairman of ATTIKO METRO A.E. BoD and Mr. E. Galoussis, Manager of ATTIKO METRO A.E. Managing Department, visited METRO worksite located at Sintrivani Crossover, where the breakthrough by the first TBM was performed.
Mr. Mangriotis made the following statements:
“This is a very critical moment for our city and each and every one of us who has the opportunity to live this moment can only feel joy and strong emotions. The METRO Network constitutes the most important transportation, environmental and development infrastructure project for the city of Thessaloniki. This is something we all knew and fought for, for a very long time.
Therefore, at this moment of critical importance for our city, I would like to stress that we should leave aside all the things that have disunited and disappointed us, and all the things that have caused major delays in the construction of the Metro Project during the last 15-year period.
The METRO Project unites us all and, thus, we have no choice but to “embrace” and support it for it to be successfully completed. We must work all together to overcome both delays and problems that have been encountered.
Soon, we will find the solutions to the problems and we will prepare the designs required to ensure the necessary funding in order to complete the 9.6 km long Base Line of THESSALONIKI METRO.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude and to congratulate all those who have worked so hard to reach this point of progress and to continue further on.
I would like also to thank the previous leadership of the Ministry of Public Works and Environment for all the efforts they have made towards the progress of the works. Political disputes have their own meaning and sense. However, this day unites us all, for us all to work together, to make every possible effort to accelerate the progress rates and to adhere to the stringent time schedules, because both the city and its citizens need the METRO network.
In other words, at this critical moment, the message sent by the city of Thessaloniki about the Metro Project is UNITY.
We will continue at fast and intensive pace”.
In response to a journalist’s question about the transfer of the METRO Management to Thessaloniki, Mr. Mangriotis stressed the following:
“We will give a solution to this matter too. Hopefully, the transfer will have been completed by the end of this year. There are also certain issues of cooperation with the state’s agencies and especially with the Ministry of Culture, that performs a quite significant task; however, we wish to achieve better cooperation and a faster decision-making process and this is a matter that we will solve soon with Mr. Geroulanos, Minister of Culture, and the competent services of the Ministry of Culture”.
In response to a journalist’s question about the completion of the METRO Network Base Line, Mr. Mangriotis stressed the following:
“Allow me not to make any statements today about time schedules; there are some issues, we will examine them thoroughly and give the best possible solutions, in order to recover some of the delays. All we need is a better preparation to enable us to give safer dates. It is wrong to try to face problems if our assessments are not safe. However, we are very close to give the pertinent provisions. Today, let’s stay at this critical event for our city, let’s stick to the message that our city sends about unity and hard work by all of us”.
In response to a journalist’s question about the Metro extensions, Mr. Mangriotis pointed out that:
“As regards the extension to Kalamaria, a series of designs is currently in progress and the necessary remaining designs will soon be put to tender, while all procedural issues are being addressed, e.g. the issue related to the decision of the State Council. The Ministry aims to have the tender completed in 2010, on condition that no entanglements will arise due to objections, appeals etc. filed by the bidding technical companies, and to have the construction of the first extension of the Metro (4.8 km – 5 stations) commenced immediately.
Moreover, one of our top priorities is the western extension of Thessaloniki Metro, i.e. the 5 km extension to Stavroupoli with 5 stations. For this reason, the preparation pace of the necessary designs is accelerated and the relevant efforts are already being made for securing the relevant funds by examining all alternative Project funding methods.
Our first priority is to gradually develop a Metro network in Thessaloniki and add to the Base Project (9.6 km – 13 stations) the Metro extensions towards Stavroupoli and Kalamaria, i.e. another 10 km and 10 stations. THESSALONIKI METRO will change the transportation map of the city and will significantly improve the citizens’ everyday life”.
In response to a journalist’s question about Mikra Station, Mr. Mangriotis also pointed out that:
“This is a separate issue; it concerns the extension to Kalamaria. We are examining all alternative solutions in order to meet the deadlines of the tenders”.
In response to a journalist’s question about the funding of the Project, Mr. Mangriotis also stated that:
“The Metro Project is the most significant Project currently constructed in the city of Thessaloniki. The intention of the Prime Minister Mr. George Papandreou and the Minister of Public Infrastructures, Transport and Networks Mr. Dimitris Reppas is to secure the relevant funding and its unhindered flow in order to avoid any further delays in the implementation of the Project”.