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ATHENS METRO-STATEMENTS FOLLOWING THE MEETING HELD BETWEEN Mr. M. VORIDIS, MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT & NETWORKS AND THE MAYORS OF PERISTERI, AG.MARINA AND AG. VARVARA MUNICIPALITIES

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  • ATHENS METRO-STATEMENTS FOLLOWING THE MEETING HELD BETWEEN Mr. M. VORIDIS, MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT & NETWORKS AND THE MAYORS OF PERISTERI, AG.MARINA AND AG. VARVARA MUNICIPALITIES
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A meeting was held today between Mr. M. Voridis, Minister of Infrastructure, Transport & Networks and Messrs. Andreas Pahatouridis, Mayor of the Municipality of Peristeri, Dimitris Maravelias, Mayor of the Municipality of Aghia Marina (Haidari), George Kaplanis, Mayor of the Municipality of Aghia Varvara. After the meeting, the following statements were made by the Minister, the Mayor of Peristeri and Mr. Christos Tsitouras, Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A. (AM).

M. Voridis: As you probably remember, there was a commitment in the Government’s Program Statements to expedite the specific project. Aiming at fulfilling this commitment, the relevant file has already been submitted to the Greek Parliament. I believe that, within the next week, this file will be discussed in the responsible Parliamentary Finance Committee, which will allow us to proceed with the signing of the contract. This development puts in motion and sorts out one of the open issues that had to be dealt with by the Ministry. We have already undertaken a series of actions, which, I expect, will enable us to expedite the execution of this specific Project, in order to commission the stations within the shortest possible time period.

Question: Is there a Project eligibility issue?

Minister’s response: I believe that this issue will be favorably resolved.

Question: With regard to Siemens and the general problem, is there any specific development? I ask you this, because we have heard that Greece might claim an indemnification as a country. What are the changes that lead us to the final stretch? There is also the aspect of the agreement among the political parties, because you had pointed out in the Parliament that this agreement much be achieved on an issue which is purely financial and not political. You had said that you expected to hear the positions of the parties.

Minister’s response: I expect the positions of the parties, despite the fact that this is not a prerequisite and that these positions do not cancel the government’s will. However, I can tell you that the political climate and the positions of the parties show that we are all share the same view on this issue. On the other hand, of course, it has to be made clear that the State’s indemnification claims against Siemens and the process to find a solution is in progress. This matter is in the hands of Mr. Venizelos, Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Finance, and is progressing on a fast pace. Therefore, I would say that the government is taking particular actions towards resolving this issue as well.

Question: When will the trains be actually put in service? Will the stations be opened in all directions?

Minister’s response: Of course, we are talking about the seven stations. We actually say that the contractual time for the project implementation is twenty-three and a half (23.5) months. Nevertheless, there is a specific commitment springing from binding deadlines related to our obligations towards the EU; for this reason, we believe that the Project implementation time will be finally be shortened to fifteen (15) months.

Question: Is there an agreement with Mr. Venizelos on this specific issue? Our initial impression was that there might be a difference of opinion.

Minister’s response: I am in communication with Mr. Venizelos.

Question: Are you saying that the issue has been disentangled?

Minister’s response: Yes.

Question: Do you mean that you actually agree with Mr. Venizelos on this issue?

Minister’s response: Certainly.

Mr. Andreas Pahatouridis – Mayor of the Municipality of Peristeri: We would like to thank the Minister for inviting us to the Ministry in order to discuss the operation of the seven Metro stations which are completed but, unfortunately, have not been commissioned for a long time now. There is only one thing to say: For the first time in two years we can actually see that there is a prospect. We are entering the final phase and believe that by the end of this year – beginning of the next, the seven Metro stations in Attica basin shall be commissioned and shall serve hundreds of thousands of citizens. This is good news. We would like to believe that this major problem which troubles the Attica region citizens will be finally resolved.

Question: What is the actual benefit for the residents of your Municipality?

Mayor’s response: First of all, I would like to stress that the Metro system is the greatest environmental project that has been constructed in Greece in the last few years. It greatly relieves the city’s daily life and constitutes an added value to the quality of life of the Athens area residents. In view of the initiatives undertaken by the political leadership of the Ministry and, especially, the initiatives undertaken by Mr. Voridis, we are certain that we have entered the final stage of the project and that our concerns will soon be alleviated.

Mr. Christos Tsitouras: ATTIKO METRO S.A Chairman and Managing Director.

In line with my previous statements, the issue pertaining to the signaling and commissioning of the seven stations was primarily a political one. Upon sorting out this political issue, the technical part of the project now begins. It is generally accepted that ATTIKO METRO S.A. successfully accomplished all its previous projects and will do so now. Our company can make the commitment to complete the project in an shortest period than the contractually foreseen one (the Minister spoke about a period of 15 months, as opposed to the 23.5 months foreseen by the contract), but we believe that we can improve this target even more); so, our goal is to deliver the seven stations to be used by our 160,000 fellow citizens, contributing thus to the development of Attica basin area, both in economic and environmental terms. This translates in 30,000 less vehicles in the streets on a daily basis, as well as in the reduction of the daily emissions of carbon dioxide by 130 tons. The total annual revenue for ATTIKO METRO S.A. is estimated to rise to 65 million Euros.

Question: You speak about a period of 15 months. However, the extension to Elliniko must be operational in June…

Mr. Christos Tsitouras’ response: If the Metro extensions need to be operational, they can operate in other ways as well. Signaling is not a prerequisite for the operation; but since the entire project is ready, I feel that, once the contract is signed, we shall negotiate for the resolution of this problem from a more powerful position.

Question: You had said that, once the green light is given, you would need approximately six months for the westbound extension and ten months for the southbound. Are you saying that you need fifteen months for the whole package?

Mr. Christos Tsitouras’ response: Yes. This is the entire package. This is what is stated in a contract. Once the contract is signed, we shall examine the situation again as it develops. We cannot commit ourselves right now.

Question: When will the contract be signed?

Mr. Christos Tsitouras’ response: Immediately after its presentation to the Parliament.

Question: What about the extension to Pireus?

Mr. Christos Tsitouras’ response: This issue will be examined in the following days. As you know, the contract of the Metro extension to Piraeus has been reviewed by the Court of Auditors and I believe that, in less than one month from today, we shall be in a position – and after informing the Parliament, since this is a major project – to officially announce the commencement of the Metro construction works on the extension to Piraeus port.

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