THE GREEK construction industry has been booming over the last four years in the run up to the Olympics.
The Association of Civil Engineers of Greece (ACEG) vice president Vassilis Economopoulos is proud of the contribution Greek civil engineers have made, but is wary that work may diminish after the Games.
'It will be difficult to sustain this level of building, ' he says.
He predicts that engineers will leave Greece and head for the Middle East or other Balkan countries to find work.
But he believes that interest in civil engineering will not dwindle after the Olympics as the ACEG will lobby for post Olympic projects to go ahead.
'Many ACEG members work within the Ministry of Public Works and occupy top positions, ' he says.
'They don't just work in the field of design and construction, but also have an input into social issues.'
He adds that the main aims of the ACEG are to influence legislation, protect and promote the role of civil engineers, and make proposals for infrastructure projects such as the Athens Metro.
Economopoulos is also managing director of Athens Metro operations company AMEL SA.
On the hot topic of whether all the construction projects will be completed on time for the Games, he gives a cautious response.'
I think we'll be ready for the Olympics. We are concentrating our resources to make sure of this.'
ICE's Greek counterpart
The Association of Civil Engineers of Greece (ACEG) is the ICE's Greek equivalent. Founded in 1961, the ACEG has 14,000 members of which half are consultants, 20% are contractors and 30% civil servants.
An agreement of co-operation between the two learned societies was signed last November to promote closer working relationships.
This, for instance, allows members from the ICE or ACEG to use facilities and attend meetings in both countries.