MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND NETWORKS
Today, the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Mr. Dimitris Reppas welcomed in his office Mr. Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, and discussed the funding of the development projects.
After the meeting, the following statements were made:
MR. DIMITRIS REPPAS (Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks):
We are particularly pleased to have the honor of the visit of Mr. Sakellaris, Vice President of the European Investment Bank. His presence confirms the excellent cooperation between the Bank he represents as a high ranking executive and the Greek State. You are well aware of the fact that for many years now the European Investment Bank has been financing development projects in Greece. The EIB’s financial assistance is of crucial importance during this period. Mr. Sakellaris has confirmed in the most precise manner, also during our meeting, that the EIB shall provide its undivided assistance, so that the projects can be continued and completed.
As far as we are concerned, we are promoting a series of projects undertaking at the same time the relevant initiatives. Allow me to state as an example the upcoming tendering for the new airport at Kastelli in Iraklio (Crete). Moreover, the extensions of the existing Metro Lines are in progress; the construction of the Athens Metro New Line 4 (Line V) is under way, while similar progress is anticipated for the Thessaloniki Metro Project.
We also have to deal with the major projects executed in the framework of the concession contracts, namely major highways. We address these problems in a responsible and serious way, since our aim is to support the evolution and completion of the Projects.
Moreover, we are interested in establishing an interventions plan for upgrading the road networks throughout Greece in view of improving road safety. Greece holds one of most negative records among the countries of the European Union. More precisely, we hold the forth lowest record among the 27 countries of the European Union in road safety. The budget of this plan is estimated to reach the amount of 500 million EURO. The EIB Vice President was informed accordingly and is very positive at this phase.
Our intention is to also promote development plans in several regions of Greece on the basis of the Operational Plan we have already presented for the city of Thessaloniki. We have similar plans for Crete and aim at securing EIB funding as well for the improvement of the North and South Road Axes of Crete in the framework of this Plan.
I wish to thank Mr. Sakellaris for constantly exhibiting a profound interest in the evolution of the development projects currently at a critical phase. In view of the economic crisis that we are faced with, it is clear that the EIB constitutes a significant pillar, so that Greece remains focused on achieving its targets. Apart from our cooperation with the EIB, we undertake initiatives in order to reverse what needs to be changed to the better in the field of projects planning and management and thus, eliminate the problem of supplementary contracts, abolish violations of project time schedules and budgets. In this way, the reliability of our country will be enhanced and our cooperation with foreign Organizations, such as the EIB, will become more effective.
I wish to thank you once more, Mr. Vice President, and reassure you that the financial assistance provided to Greece until the present day is indeed effective and, I believe, that this assistance will continue to be provided to us, so that we can complete the ambitious program, which is in progress.
MR. PLUTARCHOS SAKELLARIS (Vice President of the European Investment Bank):
In my turn, I would also like to warmly thank the Minister Mr. Reppas for the meeting we just had. The EIB supports our country during this critical financial period by funding projects which will actually lead the way to development. It is well known that development will be achieved through such investments, through the production process. We are here, standing by the side of the Greek Government and the Greek economy and fund all these projects which will help Greece out of the crisis under way.
Allow me to note that in 2010, the EIB doubled the funds allocated to Greece as compared to the past; more precisely, the funds provided were increased by more than 50% compared to 2009. We are here to provide any assistance you require for the implementation of your development projects, so that together we can find a way for the economic recovery and development.
Earlier today, I had the pleasure to be given a tour to Aghia Paraskevi Station by the Chairman of ATTIKO METRO Board of Directors, Mr. Christos Tsitouras. To my satisfaction, the Station is exactly as we expected it to be. It is very important to convey the message that the EIB not only does it fund projects but it also monitors their progress and completion. The Metro Project in both Athens and Thessaloniki is one of the most significant lifetime projects that the EIB is funding. The Metro has changed the life of the citizens of Athens, it will change the life of the citizens of Thessaloniki and, thus, we are indeed proud to be part of this effort.
AGHIA PARASKEVI STATION – Visit to the Metro worksite by Mr. Ploutarchos Sakellaris, Vice Chairman of the EIB
ATTIKO METRO S.A.
Mr. Christos Tsitouras, Chairman of ATTIKO METRO S.A., gave today a tour to Mr. Ploutarchos Sakellaris, Vice Chairman of the EIB and to Mr. Ioannis Economides, General Secretary of Public Works, around the worksite of AGHIA PARASKEVI Station and the already operating NOMISMATOKOPIO Metro Station.
When the tour was completed, Mr. Ploutarchos Sakellaris made the following statement: “For more than 15 years, the EIB has offered its support in the realization of the Metro projects in Athens and Thessaloniki. Today, I am very please that I was given the opportunity to eye witness the final construction works for the completion of AGHIA PARASKEVI Station”.
Afterwards, Mr. Ioannis Economides made the following statement: The EIB has always offered its assistance not only in the construction of the Metro projects, but also of other major projects handled by the Ministry of Infrastructure. Once again, we shall all join our efforts in order to come up to the challenge of implementing the new extension program for the Athens and Thessaloniki Metro”.
Mr. Christos Tsitouras stressed that: “Attiko Metro S.A. expresses its great pleasure for the possibility to cooperate with the EIB in order to implement the inspired Metro projects. To this end, a meeting has been scheduled for next week in the EIB Headquarters in Luxembourg, where I ill be given the opportunity to present in detail the new major Metro projects in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki.
It is my conviction that the new major projects of Attiko Metro S.A. can greatly contribute to the development of our economy during the two difficult years ahead.
As far as AGHIA PARASKEVI Station is concerned, the necessary testing activities of the E/M systems have already commenced and as soon as these activities are over, ATTIKO Metro S.A shall announce the commissioning date of this new station”.