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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/129

(2003/C 137 E/146) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2878/02

by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: Relocation of the tramline route in Athens

Recently the Greek Government decided to relocate the tramline as a result of damage which might be
caused to the historic Hadrian’s Arch monument as a result of vibrations from the wires as trams went
past. In spite of the fact that this problem was identified by archaeologists before work on tramline
construction began, the government went ahead with construction work on the line at that precise spot.

1. Since the project is funded from the third CSF, did the Commission approve the initial tramline

2. Will it cover the additional cost which will arise from the moving of the line and how much will this
amount to?

(2003/C 137 E/147) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2947/02

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(18 October 2002)

Subject: Rerouting of the tramline in Athens

The section of the route decided on by the ministries responsible for the Athens tram route is being
cancelled in favour of a new alternative route. The reason for this is the danger the tram’s vibrations pose
to the Hadrian’s Arch archaeological monument, which is located near the path of the tram route, as well
as the danger posed to archaeological finds which are still buried very close to the surface. Archaeologists
raised serious objections and criticisms regarding the original route, which were not taken into account,
and the environmental impact study did not include any investigation into the effects on archaeological

Meanwhile, thousands of Athenians were exposed to unimaginable inconvenience and expense as a result
of the traffic congestion caused by construction work on the section of the project which has now been

Since this project is being funded by the third CSF and the European Investment Bank:

1. What amount of resources has been wasted, calculated from the start of work, on that part of the
project which has now been abandoned?

2. What additional costs will the new alternative route for the tramline incur? Will they be covered by
resources from the third CSF?

3. Was the Commission aware of the archaeologists’ warnings, which were heeded too late? What
position did the Commission adopt in its communications with the responsible Greek authorities?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-2878/02 and E-2947/02
given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(11 November 2002)

The major project for the construction of the Athens tramway is included among those foreseen under the
Operational Programme ‘Railways, Airports, Urban Transport, 2000-2006’. Up to the present,
the Commission has not received a specific demand for the realisation of this project from the Greek