The Municipal Council of Salamina has come out strongly against a tunnel link between the island and mainland Attica. The Council has reportedly objecting the project citing safety, environmental, social and economic reasons.
Τhe Council wants to postpone the approval of the study (ie the environmental licensing of the project) until the study for the necessary infrastructure is completed and the necessary projects are included in a regional, national or other European development program. Further, to proceed with the urban / traffic redesign of the island, in order to prevent the temporary residential expansion before the start of the project.
Furthermore, the Municipality wants to collect reciprocal fees from the operation of the possible connection compared to those that until now the Municipal Port Fund of Salamina received from the passage of ferries (approximately 350,000 euros per year) and to secure the ferry connection workers as the tunnel is estimated to affect about 500 jobs. “We are not negative about the project, but we are worried about the way it is being run,” the mayor of Salamina, Giorgos Panagopoulos, told daily kathimerini.
“Direct road connection will change our lives in many ways, e.g. will alleviate our constant anxiety about timely access to hospital. However, at the same time with the road connection of the island, its permanent population will increase, as we will be transformed into a suburb of Piraeus. Today we have an insufficient road and sewerage network, we have the two high schools of the island in prefabricated rooms and much more. The improvement of such basic infrastructures must precede the execution of the project, otherwise we will suffer the consequences for years,” the mayor added.
Government officials said that the Municipality objections reflect the influence of ferry owners who ply what officials say is the second most profitable route in Europe.
Mayor Panagopoulos rejects the government claims pointing out at the social impact of the project to the local community.
The island is about 2 km from Perama port in western Attica.