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ATHENS, May 10 (Reuters) - Greece will complete a shortlist by the end of the year of potential contractors for a 1.45 billion euro ($1.58 billion) project to expand the Athens metro, the head of operator Attiko Metro said on Wednesday.
State-owned Attiko Metro last month asked for initial expressions of interest in tendering for the construction of the 13km expansion by June 30.
"There is huge interest," Attiko Metro Chairman Ioannis Mylopoulos told state television on Wednesday.
The project will be co-financed by European funds and loans from the European Investment Bank as part of Greece's investment drive to kick-start its economy and create jobs after a seven-year debt crisis and three international bailouts.
Attiko Metro aims to complete the project within eight years and Mylopoulos said on Wednesday that construction is expected to begin in 2019. ($1 = 0.9198 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by David Goodman)