"It's a great day today, not only for Trikala, not only for Western Thessaly, but for the West Macedonia, for Epirus, as we are now pleased to announce, ότThis emblematic work E65, will be completed. A vision of many decades will become a reality. And just look at the map, to find that E65, is a road that steps on the spine of Greece», The Prime Minister stressed at an event for the progress of the construction works of the E65 road axis which took place at the Tsitsani Museum.
THE Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to the intensive efforts made to launch the project that had been blocked by the EU. "I have made multiple communications myself with the Directorate-General for Competition and we have succeeded and convinced European Commission to finally give the green light to be able to start this important project as soon as possible. Something we had not achieved in many years and many would believe - when we came to things- that it would never be possible to complete E65 at least in the form of a concession agreement ", reported characteristically.
He pointed out the special importance that E65 will have not only for Trikala but also for Western Macedonia after the de-loginization.. "THE de-ligation process raises reasonable concern, but at the same time it opens important new perspectives for Western Macedonia. "Perspectives that, in order to be able to become a reality, the isolation of Western Macedonia to the South must be broken and it must be much more easily accessible to Athens and to all of southern Greece.", he stressed.
The Prime Minister stressed that The construction of the Mesochora dam will proceed and made special reference to the importance of clean energy at a time when we are looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. «I consider it inconceivable that the Greek state has spent hundreds of millions of euros on major infrastructure projects which currently remain unfinished.. I have given the direction to the Ministry, in Costa Skreka, ο οποίος ηγείται του Υπουργείου Περιβάλλοντος και Ενέργειας, in conjunction with the initiatives to be taken by PPC to immediately update the Environmental Impact Study for the Mesochora Dam, so that we can proceed to a new approval of environmental conditions and the Mesochora dam to finally function as a large hydroelectric project. At a time when we are looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at a time when clean energy must play a leading role in our energy mix, it is absolutely necessary, the last substantial major hydroelectric infrastructure project, to be completed independently ", noted Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport spoke at the event, Costas Karamanlis, the Regional Governor of Thessaly, Costas Agorastos, the Regional Governor of Western Macedonia, George Kasapidis, the Regional Governor of Epirus Alexandros Kachrimanis, the Mayor of Trikala and President of KEDE Dimitris Papastergiou and the President and CEO of the GEK group – TERNA George Peristeris.
In their positions, they stressed that Trikala enter the transport map and that this is "a day we have been dreaming of for many years in the area" since πρόκειται για ένα έργο που συνδέει την Ήπειρο με τη Δυτική Μακεδονίας με τη Θεσσαλία και τη Στερεά Ελλάδα. They reported, also, in the jobs created during the execution of the project. Ο Υπουργός Υποδομών και Μεταφορών Κώστας Καραμανλής τόνισε ότι σε 1,5 year the implementation of the project has arrived from 13 στο 63%” και αναφέρθηκε στην προσωπική παρέμβαση του Πρωθυπουργού στην ΕΕ για να ξεμπλοκάρει η κατασκευή του.
The project allows the most competitive and environmentally friendly movement from Athens to Western Macedonia and the corresponding connections with Italy (via the Port of Igoumenitsa in the Adriatic), the Western Balkans, and through those in central and northern Europe. Upon completion, the journey from Lamia to Egnatia will last 1 time and 30 minutes, instead of 2 hours and 30 minutes today. It is noted that it was one of five highways that were auctioned with a Concession Agreement 2007 and due to the economic crisis in the first phase the intermediate part of the highway was implemented. Το Bόρειο Τμήμα (Trikala - Egnatia), length 70.5km, had blocked. The EU, after intense efforts and intervention of the Prime Minister himself, approved the contractor's financing for its construction, ως συμβατή με τους κανόνες της εσωτερικής αγοράς και έγινε τροποποίηση της Σύμβασης Παραχώρησης. The project has a budget 442 million €, construction duration 3 years with cross section 2+2 strips and LEA.
The government staff accompanying the Prime Minister consists of the Minister of Environment and Energy, Konstantinos Skrekas, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Konstantinos Karamanlis, the Minister of Rural Development, Σπύρο – Panagiotis Libanos, the Deputy Minister of Interior, Stelio Petsa, the Secretary General of Coordination, Thanasis Kontogeorgis, the Secretary General of Infrastructure, George Karagiannis, the CEO of PPC, George Stassis and the President of ELGA, Andrea Lykurentzo.
He was present at the event that took place in Trikala, also, the Minister of Justice, Costas Tsiaras and MPs of New Democracy.
The entire position of the Prime Minister:
"Mr Mayor, Mr. Regional Governors, Ministers, Ladies and gentlemen, Friends, is indeed a great day today, not only for Trikala, not only for Western Thessaly, but for Western Macedonia, for Epirus, as we are now pleased to announce, that this emblematic work E65, will be completed. A vision of many decades will become a reality. And just look at the map, to find that E65, is a road that steps on the spine of Greece. It has its own special significance for the three regions I mentioned. It has a special significance here for Western Thessaly, because the isolation of Trikala will finally be broken, to the north but also to the south, will be united with Egnatia, but also with the core of central Greece. And of course, dear Regional Governor of Western Macedonia, This project has a special significance for your region. As the de-ligation process raises reasonable concern, but at the same time it opens important new perspectives for Western Macedonia. Prospects that, in order to be able to become a reality, the isolation of Western Macedonia to the South must be broken and it must be much more easily accessible to Athens and to all of southern Greece..
And this is exactly what the E65 does and the same of course applies to the region of Epirus, as now another road is added, which will connect Epirus with Southern Greece, with Athens. I want you to know that in order for this project to be put into practice, Very important work was done by the services of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
I would like to personally thank the Minister as well, Costas Karamanlis and the General Secretary, George Karagiannis, because they believed as we all believed in this work. And, sure, I want you to know, also, that from the first moment we came to things, this road was also a personal bet for me.
I have made multiple communications myself with the Directorate-General for Competition and we have succeeded in convincing the European Commission to finally give the green light so that this important project can begin as soon as possible.. Something we had not achieved in many years and many would believe - when we came to things- that it would never be possible to complete E65 at least in the form of a concession.
We are ready, Well, to move forward and move at high speed. Regarding the added value of the project, jobs, I do not need to say much, said Mr. Peristeris, but I will focus much more on the future prospects that this road opens for the three regions which will connect. And especially here for Trikala, for the mountainous Trikala, for your very beautiful mountains which also now dear Mayor will become much more easily accessible and why not also not to know the development that other mountainous areas of the country have experienced. You know very well my belief in the need for the country to be able to attract investments that are not only related to the sun and the sea., but they are also connected with our very beautiful mountains.
To be able to have traffic 365 days a year and I believe that when the road is completed it will be much easier for our fellow citizens to come, but also foreign visitors to Trikala and get to know this beautiful area of our homeland. I want, also, to say a word about an issue raised by the Regional Governors and concerning the major infrastructure projects that are connected in one way or another with this project which we call the "diversion of the Acheloos".
I consider it inconceivable that the Greek State has spent hundreds of millions of euros on major infrastructure projects which currently remain unfinished.. I have given the direction to the Ministry, to Kostas Skrekas, who heads the Ministry of Environment and Energy, in combination with the initiatives that PPC must take to immediately update the Environmental Impact Study for the Mesochora dam, so that we can proceed to a new approval of environmental conditions and the Mesochora dam to finally function as a large hydroelectric project.
At a time when we are looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at a time when clean energy must play a leading role in our energy mix, it is absolutely necessary, the last substantial major hydroelectric infrastructure project, to be completed independently. Will contribute more than 160 MW σταθερής ενέργειας στο σύστημα, will have significant flood defenses, will bring significant flood relief throughout the catchment area and of course why not create as has been done,Dear Costa, at Lake Plastira, possibly, a new visiting pole in an area, which for most of us at least is completely unknown.
We will move on, Well, in the completion of the Mesochora project and we will examine - as you know- the issues of the partial diversion of Acheloos, are extremely complex issues, with too many lawsuits to deal with. Mesochora, Nevertheless, is the first step necessary not necessarily the sufficient condition to reconsider the project of partial water transfer from Western Greece to Thessaly.
Close, ladies and gentlemen, telling you, that for me this is an important day, it's a great day, as the E65 was essentially perhaps the last major issue in terms of road projects mentioned in mainland Greece. Along with the other backlogs we inherited as a government, I am referring to the Patras - Pyrgos section, but also on the north road, in Crete, we will move fast, so that our homeland in all its extent has in terms of trunk networks, reliable, financial, safe highways. We have great confidence in Greek companies, which will complete these projects and I believe, that the president and CEO of TERNA has a full sense of responsibility on his own shoulders and on the shoulders of his company, so that this project is completed on a budget and on time. Greek companies have proven that they can complete such projects, to overcome any technical difficulties and of course it is important that they offer significant added value especially to local communities.
In terms of jobs, the supply of local materials, I always encourage construction companies to work with local contractors, subcontractors, have to add local added value to their projects. I wish and hope to see you again, here in Trikala, so that we can now launch this emblematic, this very very important project, for the area of Trikala, for Thessaly, for Western Macedonia, for Epirus. I want to assure you once again that I personally, but also the Ministry, we follow very closely the progress of all major projects, which we will complete exactly as we have committed, because as your Governor said, Mr. Buyer, the best words are the works and we always like to talk to our works.
Thank you very much".