Following the opening of a new metro extension to the west side of Athens on Saturday, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias pledged yesterday that residents in the city’s southeastern suburbs would have access to new stations by the end of 2009. Souflias was visiting the site in the seafront area of Hellenikon where digging began earlier this year with the aim of boring a 5.5-kilometer tunnel to Aghios Dimitrios, currently the last stop on Line 2. The minister said that project is on course to be completed by the end of 2009, when four new stations – Hellenikon, Argyroupolis, Alimos and Ilioupolis – will open. Souflias said that the tunnel-boring machine had dug the first 400 meters of the extension and would complete its work in 15 months. An extension to Line 3, from Monastiraki to Aegaleo, opened on Saturday.