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Hellenic Industrial and Technical Updates

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Contract for the new Athens airport at Spata has been signed.

Athens, 1/8/1995 (ANA):

An agreement for construction of Athens' new international airport at Spata was signed yesterday by the Greek government and a consortium led by the German group Hochtief. The agreement is expected to be tabled in Parliament for final ratification be fore becoming law.

The Greek side at yesterday's signing was represented by the Minister and Alternate Minister of Environment, Town Planning and Public Works, Costas Laliotis and Costas Geitonas; Transport Minister Athanasios Tsouras; Alternate National Economy Minister George Romaios and the legal adviser to Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, Antonis Vgontzas. The German side was represented by Hochtief Chairman Hans Dieter Kaetel.

Speaking after the signing, Mr. Laliotis said the 2.3 billion dollars project was one of the largest currently in progress in Europe. The new airport, located approximately 25 kilometres from Athens' centre, will be named after one of Greece's leading statesman, Eleftherios Venizelos. It is expected to be completed by the year 2000.

Mr. Kaetel praised the Greek government for signing the agreement within the framework that had been previously announced. The contract, bruised by a string of delays, won cabinet approval Friday after Greece secured favourable revisions, including a 100 billion drachmas reduction in cost and the shortening of the duration the airport will be operated by the contractor, fro m 50 to 30 years.

Under the amended terms of the deal, Hochtief will own 45 per cent of a company established with the Greek state to operate the airport. The original deal gave the German consortium a 60 per cent portion. Initially, the airport will have two runways and terminal capacity of close to 16 million passengers annually.

Mr. Laliotis said last week the existing Athens airport next to the seaside suburb of Hellenikon will close after the new airport is completed. The 1,250-acre area will be converted into a park. According to the minister, the new airport adds weight to Greece's significant geopolitical position and secures a modern infrastructure that will give a boost the economy and development".


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