The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Costas Karamanlis, spoke about sustainable transport and infrastructure, with emphasis on railway projects and electricity, at the “Athens ESG & Climate Crisis Summit” conference organized by “Kathimerini” at the Stavros Foundation Cultural Center.
He pointed out that the European Commission is no longer focused on financing major road projects, but also that in any case, Greece has completed the puzzle of major road networks.
“And now we go to the next step: Sustainable railway projects”, stressed Mr. Karamanlis. He reminded that the construction of railway projects in Greece has been a “joke” for the last 30 years and noted that the government joined DG COMP and proceeded with a huge reform to correct this problematic system.
We are already able to announce that in the near future we will auction with the process of design and construction, ie turnkey, 3.3 railway projects throughout Greece. “The largest package of railway projects ever made in Greece,” he said.
Mr. Karamanlis pointed out that in the planning of the ministry for the next years, there is also the supply of hydrogen trains, for the movement of which no special changes are needed in the railway network.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport stressed that: “Railway projects help our country to play a role in logistics and are fully in line with the issues of climate change. So, with a spar two turtledoves. And Greece will enter a process where we will finally connect ports with railways, logistics centers, Thriasio 1 and Thriasio 2 “.
He also pointed out that the government’s unified plan for the next day in sustainable transport, apart from the railway, has nothing to do with the metro. He reminded that after many years, Line 4 of the Athens Metro “unblocked”. On the occasion of the current issue of traffic congestion in Athens, he noted that if one sees how many Metro stations the Greek capital has in relation to Madrid, for example, one will understand that our country is far behind. “Next we run and we have to run and this project has started,” he stressed.
“In a short time we will see in Athens and Thessaloniki 220 electric buses”
Regarding green transport, Mr. Karamanlis referred to the tender for the 770 new buses, which has already “gone up in the air”. He reminded that “we have to get rolling stock in OSY since 2009, that is 13 years”. He also referred to the provision of transport work by the KTEL and the institution of leasing, noting that “today in Athens we have 50% more buses and more modern than we had”.
“In a short time we will see 220 electric buses in Athens and Thessaloniki,” the minister added, stressing that this tender is also funded by the Recovery Fund. “You see a government that does not run tenders without funding. “The caricatures we had in the past to put a million in a SAE of the ministry and to make a tender of 750 million, we will not see these from our own government”, he commented.
Mr. Karamanlis also stated that in the second phase the next tender will be held for another 500 buses. “Athens and Thessaloniki will soon have a new fleet of Hybrid, CNG and electric buses and for the first time we will see a significant reduction in the age of vehicles”, he stressed and expressed the hope that the objections will be avoided, which are often brake. for large supplies.
“We can not meet the new challenges old recipes”
In closing, Mr. Karamanlis commented: “I am thinking of a phrase: Politics is the art of the possible. But what I also think is that we can not face the new challenges with old recipes. ” He estimated that both the political world and society have rewarded what is called the private sector. “The state is here. The state has a supervisory role “, he stressed and added that this government has overcome the anchorages, advocating more cooperation with the private sector and more PPPs.
“From the 13 billion. projects we have in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, all five are PPPs, when in the past we did not have any. And I think the private sector is ahead. He must pull us forward. Because, it arrives with the institutional framework, it arrives with the legal formalism. “We do not always find solutions by simply passing laws that we do not implement,” he concluded.