Work starts on Metro extension

The giant tunnel boring machine (TBM) used to open the Athens metro tunnels will begin drilling the 3.4-kilometer northern extension of the Ethniki Amyna line to Doukisis Plakentias and Stavros today, now that preliminary work has been completed. The Stavros station will be the link with the suburban railway that will link the area with Athens Airport. The TBM, named Athena, is to begin work at the Doukisis Plakentias end, where the first five meters have been dug using conventional methods. This section, being built by a Greek consortium at a cost of 54 billion drachmas (158 million euros), passes under Aghias Paraskevis Street, past the national mint and along Mesogeion Avenue to the Ethniki Amyna station at Papagou. The scheduled completion date is May 2004. But the three stations on the line – Holargos, Nomismatokopeio and Aghia Paraskevi – are not scheduled for completion before June 2006. The embassy said «there should be no controversy over meeting anyone who can contribute to a just and durable settlement in Cyprus.»

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