24092018Headline:

Plan in place for 4-bln-euro fibre optic network in four years, Pappas says

“We have a plan for four billion euros in private and public investments that will link most households in the country to fibre optics in a space of four years,” Digital Policy and Media Minister Nikos Pappas said on an ERT public broadcaster’s radio programme on Thursday.

In the areas where no company had yet expressed interest, the minister added, the government would set up public-private partnerships for a separate fibre optic network.

The minister was also asked about Greek-Russian relations following the expulsion of two Russian diplomats and whether these were now “on ice”. Replying, Pappas denied that relations with Russia were on ice and noted that difficult moments can arise in all diplomatic relations.

“With regard to the specific issue, all the appropriate steps were taken and all sides can understand that interference in the internal affairs of a country cannot be tolerated by anyone,” he noted. Regarding the press reports about the affair, Pappas said that these were “not deniable” and that “everyone understands” what this signifies.

The minister also repeated that general elections will be held at the end of the government’s term and that the government was not one “to kick the can down the road” in terms of ratifying the Prespes Agreement with FYROM when this came to parliament.

“We have a four-year term that we intend to fully use up. With the Independent Greeks (ANEL) we will go right to the end,” he added.

He also supported the agreement with FYROM on the name dispute and noted that, given time, it would be understood by even the most dubious and will bring good results economically and politically.