Ministry defends roadwork action

The Ministry of Environment and Public Works yesterday defended its decision not to consider objections by a construction company to a public construction tender and let the works proceed. The Council of State decided on Monday to annul the tender for two sections, totaling 17.3 kilometers, of the Athens-Thessaloniki highway. Both sections are in central Greece, and are part of a stretch of road that lacks a central median and where many accidents have happened. The tender for the two stretches of highway was awarded over a year ago and a new contract must be signed within the next three months if the project is to be ready by 2007, as Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias has promised. Michaniki, the firm that sought legal redress, has managed to block similar projects and Souflias’s relations with its boss, Prodromos Emfiedzoglou, are said to be frosty.