Salamina mayor rejects tunnel plans

The mayor of the historic island of Salamina in the Saronic Gulf has told Kathimerini that he opposes plans to build an underwater tunnel linking it with the mainland because he believes it would stretch the islet?s limited resources.

Mayor Yiannis Tsavaras and other local officials met with Transport Minister Makis Voridis this week to discuss plans to build a road tunnel linking Perama, west of Athens, with Salamina, where the ancient Greeks fought a decisive naval battle with Persian invaders in 480 BC. Currently, the island is connected via a roll-on/roll-off ferry service. Salamina is home to about 40,000 residents and Tsavaras believes the tunnel will lead to more people moving there.

?Our island has a thousand problems,? he said. ?We do not have a water drainage network, we do not have a complete sewage system and we do not have serious healthcare infrastructure. Building a tunnel will result in the population growing and a new wave of unregulated construction.? Voridis said the project would not progress before the elections.