Agreement reached on Karaiskaki

Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced yesterday that the government had reached an agreement with leading soccer club Olympiakos on the refurbishment of the Piraeus Karaiskaki Stadium, the venue of the soccer final in the 2004 Olympics. «I am glad the outcome of the negotiations was positive,» he said. «An agreement has been reached on all points and we will shortly be in a position to sign the contract, which must, of course, be ratified by Parliament.» The terms include leasing the stadium, the property of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (EOE), to Olympiakos for 49 years. In turn, the club, which has used Karaiskaki as its home ground for decades, will shoulder the refurbishment costs. Olympiakos President Socrates Kokkalis confirmed yesterday Karaiskaki will be ready in May 2004, three months ahead of the Games. Yesterday, Kokkalis called on Olympiakos fans to become partners in the club. Piraeus Mayor Christos Agrapidis agreed to become president of the club’s amateur sports division.