Completion of new metro stations a step closer

The government appears ready to appoint a panel of judges to examine the contracts that Siemens Hellas has for providing equipment to the Athens metro in a bid to speed up the completion of seven new stations.

According to Skai TV, the Infrastructure and Transport ministries are due to ask the Court of Audit to set up the panel so it can begin examining the paperwork in March.

The committee of judges will be asked to look at the contracts awarded to the company to provide signaling equipment for the extension of lines 2 and 3.

Seven metro stations, which were due to open to the public this summer, are not likely to be available to commuters until some time in 2012 because of the ongoing legal wrangle between the government and Siemens, which has been accused of paying bribes in the past to politicians and state officials to secure contracts.

Three new stations on Line 1 of the metro system (Peristeri, Anthoupoli and Haidari) and four on Line 2 (Ilioupoli, Alimos, Argyroupoli and Elliniko) were due to be open by June but the government is not willing to renew the signaling contract with Siemens so the work can be completed.

According to Skai, if the judges give the green light for the project to continue, contractors will need between four and eight months to have the stations fully operational.

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