The municipal council of Salamina has opposed the plan to build a tunnel between the island and the Greek mainland. The government is talking about the personal interests of advisers in the local ferry business.
The island’s municipal council said in a statement that the council initially objected to the project, citing safety, environmental, social and economic reasons.
The Council wants to postpone approval (ie environmental licensing of the project) until the study of the necessary infrastructure is completed and the inclusion of the necessary projects in a regional, national or other European development program. In addition, continue the reconstruction of the island’s urban / transport links to prevent the construction of new residential buildings until the completion of the project.
The municipality also wants to generate revenue from tunnel operating fees comparable to what the municipal fund of the Port of Salamina has received from ferry passage so far (approximately € 350,000 per year), and to provide seafarers and shore ferry workers with employment. The tunnel is estimated to affect about 500 jobs.
“We are not negative about the project, but we are concerned about how it implemented “Mayor of Salamina Yorgos Panagopoulos told the kathimerini newspaper:
“Direct car connections will change our lives in many ways, for example, relieve our constant anxiety about timely admission to the hospital. However, at the same time as the island’s road connections, its permanent population will increase as we become a suburb of Piraeus. Today we have an insufficient network of roads and sewerage systems, there are only two secondary schools and much more. The improvement of such basic infrastructure must precede the implementation of the project, otherwise we will suffer the consequences for many years. ”
Government officials said the municipality’s objections reflect the influence of ferry owners on what they say is the second most profitable route in Europe.
Mayor Panagopoulos rejects the government’s claims, pointing to the project’s social impact on the local community.
The island is located about 2 km from the port of Perama in western Attica. The only way to get to the island is by ferry.
The project of connecting the island with the mainland has been discussed for over 10 years. The submersible tunnel option was proposed four years ago.