Public works funding plan gets approval

The Environment and Public Works Ministry announced yesterday the approval of its proposals for the European Union subsidy period of 2007-2013. The program totals 4.3 billion euros and includes 11 fields of action and major project proposals. Minister Giorgos Souflias said that it had been approved by the EU without any amendments. This opens the way for the projects’ tenders, with the relevant documents already submitted to the ministry. The program for the 2007-2013 period is split in to two groups of projects: The first, to receive money from the EU’s Cohesion Fund, includes activity related to the protection of the atmosphere, public transport, climate change and renewable energy sources, protection and management of water resources, prevention and handling of environmental risks and the management of solid waste. The second, to be funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA), contains projects to protect the atmosphere and deal with climate change, management of water resources, prevention and handling of environmental risks, protection of the natural environment and biodiversity and the strengthening of institutions and mechanisms. Projects include the Thessaloniki metro, the sewage network at Markopoulo in Attica, the creation of new landfills and recycling centers across the country, the inclusion of 24 areas (such as Mount Olympus, the island of Tilos and the Prespes Lakes) in protected zones, and the creation of stations to measure pollution.