The cost of building the Attiki Odos, the ring road around Athens which ends at the new Athens airport, has soared, to the detriment of the State. The contract, signed in 1996, put the budget at 435 billion drachmas (1.28 billion euros), of which 140 billion would be state funds and 295 billion private investments. The budget has soared to 1.03 trillion drachmas, 750 billion of which will be paid by the State. The partly delivered project will be completed by the end of 2003. While the private sector responded favorably to the State’s invitation to venture into the energy market, disillusionment has not been slow to set in as a result of the various stumbling blocks holding up projects, Lefteris Antonakopoulos, head of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), said.