NEWS

Maliakos safer by 2007, PM pledges

The majority of the work currently being done to improve safety on the deadliest stretch of road in Greece will be completed next year, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday as he inspected the Maliakos Gulf section of the Athens-Thessaloniki highway. After a series of fatal crashes along this section of the highway last year, the government promised to complete bypasses in the areas of Aghios Constantinos and Kammena Vourla, along with other road improvements, by 2008. Some 25 people were killed on the Maliakos stretch of road last year while well over 100 people have died there since 2000. Much of that section of the highway has a single lane in each direction and no median strip. Karamanlis admitted yesterday that improvements were urgently needed. «A very dangerous section of the national road network, where we have mourned many deaths, is being transformed into a modern, safe highway along European standards,» the premier said. Karamanlis confirmed that all the work being carried out in the Maliakos Gulf area would be completed by the end of 2008. He added that construction on the E65 national road, linking Antirio with Kalamata, would also begin soon. The prime minister said these projects would help the development of Greece’s regions, which he identified as one of the government’s chief goals.