Works on the Thessaloniki metro are set to resume in the coming days, said Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Christos Spirtzis, earlier this week.
The minister announced that construction on the metro’s basic line will kick off in the first 10 days of the this month.
“We predict the immediate commencement of work on the main project within the first 10 days of January and by February 1 the full restart of the project,” the minister said.
Mr Spirtzis went on to add that the first phase of the project is set to be completed by March 2017, and the Thessaloniki metro is expected to be operational in the first half of 2020.
Construction of the Thessaloniki metro came to a halt last year due to legal wrangling between the state and the construction consortium, affecting in the meantime dozens of businesses along its main routes. The project was tendered in 2006 with a tentative completion date set for 2012 and a possible extension of two years.
An inter-ministerial committee for the coordination of major infrastructure projects concluded recently that a verbal agreement between the Greek government and the manufacturing consortium has been reached, legal obstacles have been removed and the project can move forward.
“There is no reason to proceed with signatures by any party because we have not changed the contract. Very simply, it was decided together with the developer that there will be a single contract which will be respected and any claims will abide by the decisions of arbitral tribunals,” Mr Spirtzis said.
The minister added that antiquities unearthed in the process would be protected and showcased.