The upgrading of urban transport in Athens and Thessaloniki, the progress of the emblematic infrastructure projects, the modernization of the Greek railway, the strengthening of air transport services, the implementation of an important set of irrigation projects, the implementation of Building Infrastructure projects, the strengthening of bridge safety, of tunnels and dams, road safety and electrification, are the axes on which the strategy of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport for the immediate future is based.

According to sources from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the priority is to strengthen the transport work of the OASTH and OASA, with the addition of 250 new modern technology buses, while their number for both cities will reach 1,300 by the end of the four-year period.

In fact, the number of buses on the streets of Thessaloniki is expected to increase in the near future, as more drivers are expected to be added to the Agency’s workforce through internal transfers.

In addition, in terms of flagship projects, the Thessaloniki Metro is on track to be operational by 2024, while regular meetings are already being held to resolve the traffic problems that will arise from the start of the main volume of the Flyover works, which will begin in October .

As it became known, in the coming months Metropolitan Bodies will be established for Athens and Thessaloniki with the participation of all co-competent bodies, in order to deal systematically with the traffic problems of the two cities.

A working group led by the general secretaries of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and with the participation of all those involved, is being created immediately in order to deal with all the outstanding issues of the Railway Network.

The axes for the modernization of the railway are the following:

· Strategic Planning, Governance Development and Reforms

· Guarantee of Security and Quality of Services

· Developmental Investments in the Railway Network, Rolling Stock and Facilities, Strengthening Human Resources and Know-how

· Rapid development of freight transport

However, according to sources from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the timetables for the implementation of the remote control and ETCS projects are strictly adhered to, while the interconnection of the signaling systems of the Tithoreas and Davlia stations has been completed.

It is noted that this connection had been built in the past, however, due to cable theft and vandalism, it had stopped working since 2010. Now, with the work of 717, it will be possible, with signaling, for trains to move between them of the two sections, as is already the case in the other sections of the network where signaling works.

In addition, a key priority is the strengthening of the Civil Aviation Service, the Civil Aviation Authority, with the aim of improving the operation of airports and strengthening aviation safety, according to the standards of the international competent organizations, which are said to have recognized the progress made already done in the last few months.

Regarding the irrigation projects planned, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is already implementing more than 20 large projects, while it is directly taking on an additional 63 projects from the Ministry of Rural Development, with the aim of proper and sustainable management of the country’s water resources. Building Infrastructures are expected to play an upgraded role, as the Ministry’s plan is to strengthen and highlight their role in the implementation of buildings in the health, justice and education sectors.

The staffing of the Bridges Administrative Authority, and the implementation of the National Register of Bridges is expected to take place in the near future, while emphasis will also be given to tunnels and dams for the better maintenance of these projects. Finally, Road Safety and the promotion of electric mobility are also critical priorities of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport for the coming four years, while relevant programs and actions are expected to be announced.