SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF “ATTIKO METRO S.A.” DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE GIVEN IN ARSAKIO ARCADE (STOA ARSAKIOU) ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXHIBITION “RE-THINK ATHENS: ATHENS IN THE CENTER- THE FINAL DESIGNS”

The project of the Re-development of Panepistimiou street and the construction of the Tramway Extension in the framework of the reconfiguration of the Athens center is foreseen to be put to tender and implemented by ATTIKO METRO (AM).

Approximately three years ago, the Greek State turned to AM, due to the know-how the company possessed in the management and construction of complex projects, in order to assign it with the coordination, planning, design and construction of this project as a Project Manager. Besides, by virtue of recently passed laws, AM was assigned not only with the responsibility of implementing Tramway projects, but also projects related to the re-development, pedestrianization and other associated arrangements in the wider areas where AM projects are executed.

This project involves some crucial interventions starting from the area of Syntagma Square up to Omonia Square, such as reconfiguration of squares, pedestrianizations (Panepistimiou street along with certain vertical streets in their sections between Penepistimiou and Academias streets), as well as important traffic arrangements aiming at preventing private vehicles from passing through the center of Athens. These traffic arrangements consisted in reversal of traffic direction on streets (e.g. Academias) and in general traffic changes in the wider area of Panepistimiou and Patission street up to Egyptou Square.

The above interventions – reconfigurations of urban areas, as well as the traffic arrangements are foreseen to significantly change the current status and travel habits of the citizens within the wider area of the inner traffic ring.

The above projects shall also include the Tramway Line extension from Syntagma Square to Egyptou Square along Panepistimiou and Patission streets. It must be noted that this project shall be the testing grounds for the newly applied technology of tramway vehicles capable to be also powered by batteries, in order to avoid having the classic visible overhead catenary system which is common to other Tramway systems.

Recent discussions with the political leadership and officials from the Ministries of Development, YPOMEDI, YPEKA and Attika Regional Authority, laid the basis for the funding of the projects with an approximate amount of 90 million Euros, to be drawn from the Business Plans of the Ministry of Infrastructures and the Attika Regional Authority, based on a Cooperation Agreement between Mr. Stavros Kalafatis, Alternate Minister of Environment and Mr. Giannis Sgouros, Head of the Attika Regional Authority.

Funded by Onassis Foundation and under the supervision of AM and other competent services, the final designs for the re-development of the Athens center, as well as for the Tramway extension and the associated traffic study for traffic management in the wider area of the center of Athens have already been completed, in cooperation with OASA and the responsible Department (DMEO) of the General Secretariat of Public Works.

A recent Ministerial decision (Minister of Environment) has been issued approving the Project’s Environmental Terms, while the project’s incorporation into a funding scheme is imminent.

We are currently at the stage where the details of the designs are finalized and the project’s tender documents are drafted.

Presuming that the project will be incorporated into a funding scheme within the following month, AM is in a position to put the project to tender within a period of two months after the incorporation.

It is our hope that the bidders in this tender procedure shall be experienced and reliable firms, out of which the lowest bidder shall selected as Contractor. The project is foreseen to be awarded around the end of this year and to be completed approximately two years later.

I would also like to assure you the Attiko Metro S.A., which undertakes from now on the task of the project’s tendering and construction, putting to use its experience and know-how, shall make all possible efforts in order to implement this project on time, fully respecting all quality standards and with a full sense of the responsibility stemming from the management of a project destined to decisively upgrade this sensitive area of the center of Athens.

Concluding, I would like to emphasize on the key role and the decisive contribution of the Onassis Foundation throughout the course of the Program up to the present day, which funded and expedited the procedures in all stages of design maturing for the construction of the projects, a fact that serves as an example of successful and productive cooperation between the Public and the Private Sectors.

In view of the above and grasping this opportunity, I would like to express my thanks to the management, the executives and the consultants of the Foundation for the impeccable cooperation established with Attiko Metro.

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