The European Commission welcomed the inauguration on Tuesday of the Ionian Highway, construction of which has been 100% supported by Cohesion Policy funds thanks to the exceptional measures the Commission put forward in the 2015 “A New Start for Growth and Jobs in Greece” plan.
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: “The EU invests to improve the everyday lives of Greek citizens with safer roads and reduced travel time. Better transport connections also mean new economic opportunities and faster growth. The Ionian Highway is a new token of steadfast EU solidarity and friendship with Greece.” The new, 200 km-long highway connects the city of Ioannina in the region of Epirus (North-Western Greece) to Antirrio, in Western Greece, and cuts travel time by two hours. The highway reaches the Peloponnesus peninsula in the South, via the EU-funded Rio-Antirrio bridge and, in the North, allows smoother access to Greece’s neighbours countries in the Western Balkans. The Ionian highway is one of the 5 EU-funded motorway concessions in the country, with the Moreas Motorway in the Peloponnesus, the Aegean Motorway linking Athens to Thessaloniki, the Olympia Motorway from Corinth to Patras and the middle section of the E65 Motorway in Central Greece. They have been supported with 3.6 billion euros of EU funds. By seamlessly connecting Greece with the rest of Europe along a strategic trans-European network and allowing a smooth flow of people and goods, those 5 motorways make a key contribution to a steady economic growth in the country.”