The Minister of Infrastructure & Transport, Costas Karamanlis, referred to the issues of the promotion of antiquities in the Thessaloniki Metro, the construction of the Eastern Alexandroupolis Ring Road and the upgrade of the Larissa-Volos railway line, informing the members of the Parliamentary Committee.
Regarding the Thessaloniki Metro, Mr. Karamanlis said that “we found a work trapped, under the pretext of the great archaeological findings of Venizelos station”. He noted that the previous government preferred, instead of finding a solution for Venizelos station, “to inaugurate tarpaulins and promise the operation of the Metro, without having an environmental permit, without an operator and without even rails for most of the project.” The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport reiterated that the central position of the government is that we want “both Metro and ancient”, emphasizing that the appeals offer only additional delays in the project, which, as he characteristically said, “ultimately benefit contractors and contractors”. In fact, he characterized as justification the decision of the CoC, which confirmed the approval of the Central Archaeological Council for the removal and relocation of the antiquities at Venizelos Station. “The controversial issue of the findings was finally decided at every level. “Both from the KAS and from the CoE” he stated and stressed that now “we must run to cover as much as possible the time that the appeals were stolen from Thessaloniki, with the aim of managing to complete the Metro in 2023”.
Mr. Karamanlis attributed hypocrisy to SYRIZA, saying that antiquities of equivalent value to those at the Venizelos Station had been sent to the SYRIZA government: “They did not care about those findings then, they now care about the findings at Venizelos Station.”
This additional contract is necessary, continued Mr. Karamanlis “to finally end, with this carousel of archaeological excavations, which have cost the Greek State 164 million euros. Let me remind you that the Acropolis Museum in Athens cost 125 million euros. This is to have a point of comparison to finally see where these appeals lead “, Mr. Karamanlis underlined.
The 4th supplementary contract concerning the archeological works and the enhancement of the cultural wealth of Thessaloniki, from the excavations of the Metro mentions:
-the remaining archaeological excavations of the “Venizelos” Station, as well as the works for the promotion of antiquities
-in the studies and works for the promotion of the preserved antiquities by country in the area of the Northern Access of the Station “Agia Sofia”
-in the repositioning of archaeological finds at the Station “Ag. Sofia “, eg the relocation of a large part of Krineos, a” square “, a mosaic inside the station, etc.
-in the configuration of a new site at the “Fountain Intersection” and the relocation of archaeological finds in this new area. This space, with a total area of 5,000 sq.m., will consist of 3 underground levels, and will be located south of the Library of the Aristotle University and between the streets Egnatia – AHEPA & Panepistimiou Street.
-in the elaboration of studies for the restoration of the Hamza Bey Monument (Alcazar), which is one of the first mosques built after the Fall and is considered one of the most important monuments of Ottoman architecture.
Eastern Ring Road of Alexandroupolis
Regarding the construction of the Eastern Ring Road of Alexandroupolis, Mr. Karamanlis stressed that this project will highlight the port of Alexandroupolis, to make both this and the wider region an economic, energy hub of Southeastern Europe. The new Ring Road, however, will not only connect the port of Alexandroupolis with the Egnatia Odos but aims to channel the passing traffic to and from the port of Alexandroupolis, the airport “Demokritos”, Komotini and Egnatia Odos, without traffic of the urban fabric of the city, “he said.
The total budget of the project is estimated at 26 million euros, with funding from YMEPERAA and a implementation horizon of 2 years.
Larissa-Volos railway line
Regarding the contract of 42.4 million euros and the upgrade of the Larissa-Volos railway line, Mr. Karamanlis noted that it concerns:
-On the one hand in the construction of the Electricity, Signaling, Telecommunication, Telecommunications and ETCS L1 System in the existing single railway line Larissa-Volos,
-and on the other hand in the upgrade of the railway line in the section of the Quarry Railway Station – INDUSTRY-Volos “.
The time horizon of the project, which will also be financed by YMEPERAA, is 36 months.