Whether or not there are safety systems on the railway, the General Traffic Regulation must be applied reverently, said the president of ERGOSE (2019-2020), Chronis Akritidis, testifying today to the investigative committee for “the investigation of the crime of Tempe”. He noted at the same time that any electronic system that provides additional security guarantees, it is necessary to work and apply, to be able to eliminate what we call human error. In this context, he added, the administration of ERGOSE also moved during his days, continuing the “717” contract, which would help, both before and after, to improve railway traffic safety.

Asked if there were any delays in the progress of the projects due to internal competition between OSE – ERGOSE, he answered affirmatively “due to the lack of understanding and lack of cooperation on some issues that should not have existed, but also some that I could not overcome. For example, during the construction of “71” there should have been a better coordination regarding the “windows”, i.e. the interruption of the routes so that the crews could work”.

In response to a question from the rapporteur of the majority L. Tsavdaridis, on whether the “717” contract was problematic, as the former minister H. Spirtzis had said, Mr. Akritidis said that “from the result it appears that it is a problematic contract, the which started in 2014, was supposed to be completed in 2016, and which when the new administration took over at the end of 2019, was a stopped contract. There was a supplementary contract, which, while it had been approved since 2018, had not been signed,” said Mr. Akritidis. In a subsequent question from Mr. Tsavdaridis if it was normal for this supplementary contract to be ready, approved by the Audit Court and not signed for a year, Mr. Akritidis said “no, it was strange […] the period of time is very long”.

As for the possibility of the “717” contract being dissolved, he said that, in his opinion, it would be the worst thing that could be done at that time, because, on the one hand, the project would not exist, and on the other hand, it would have a huge financial burden: ” In my personal opinion, the process of the contract continued correctly, and with all the observations incorporated by EDEL and with all the controls, and with the expert opinion that ERGOSE requested and received from the TEE, it proceeded to sign the contract […] in September 2023″. Besides, when asked whether, in the end, the ND and the responsible minister, when they gave an extension and approved compensation, did it right or wrong, Mr. Akritidis said: “I consider that he did the right thing and gave an extension. Regarding compensation I can’t say why […] it has to do with shipments requested by the company. […] That was the only way he could finish the project as quickly as possible.”