The five major highway construction projects currently underway are making rapid progress in order to be finished by March next year, according to Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Christos Spirtzis. The government’s next concern will be to find ways to lower road tolls, the minister said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Sunday.
He dismissed criticism of a “collapse” in urban transport, attributing this to “old party armies in public transport” and noted that the majority of the workforce in public transport “fought a daily battle to deliver public transport and escape the groups that had repressed them for years.”
One of the major problems facing public transport, Spirtzis added, were the huge debts left behind by the administrations appointed by main opposition New Democracy and PASOK, now the Democratic Alliance. “The main problem, however, are the decadent, cronyist and untransparent mindsets in the public transport sector,” he added.
The minister also stated categorically that the public utilities and companies transferred to the new ‘hyperfund’ will not be privatised. “Whatever is being privatised is at the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF),” he said, adding that this was the responsibility of those that set this up and the commitments they made when in government.
Commenting on the ongoing saga concerning the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), Spirtzis said that the Council of State’s ruling will be carried out, as will the government’s policy in this area.
“There will be, in other words, television stations with permanent licences that will have a specific qualitative framework of operation, will pay for their operation, and have the minimum number of employees set by law,” he said.