Minister: Fraport manages Greek regional airports no better than the State

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Minister: Fraport manages Greek regional airports no better than the StateVarious alterations to the timetable for runway upgrades at the Thessaloniki airport have arisen since the spring

Greece's relevant minister on Tuesday took aim at one of a handful of landmark privatizations finalized under the current leftist-rightist coalition government's watch, claiming the consortium that took over 14 regional airports hasn't done a better job so far than the previous state-run managements.

Infrastructure and transports minister Christos Spirtzis was referring to the Fraport Greece consortium, after being asked on a radio program about press reports of friction between the Greek state and the former.

"Fraport hasn't operated the airports better than how the Civil Aviation Authority ran them," Spirtzis, who is elected to Parliament from the Thessaloniki area, noted when asked about upgrades and maintenance scheduled for the runways of Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport.

He also argued that the consortium, which wrote a check for 1.23 billion euros to the Greek state last March, hasn't proceeded with investments prescribed in the concession contract.

"... we even have problems with sanitation in the WCs, which in many (of the 14) airports are worse than those we remember and which existed in the past," he stressed.

 Fraport's pressure on the Greek state

Spirtzis' annoyance apparently stems from Fraport's pressure on the Greek state to finish several infrastructure works related to the concession contract, saying as much.

"It (Fraport) should leave aside its various observations over how and what projects will take place, as these projects are foreseen in the contract and are a condition for the Greek state; they are co-financed and have been approved ... by the EU Commission and the regulatory bodies that supervise them," he followed.

Various alterations to the timetable for runway upgrades at the Thessaloniki airport have arisen since the spring, with the most recent change in plans coming in order to avoid delays during the height of the summer season.

The state-managed Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), Greece’s memorandum-mandated privatization agency, selected the Fraport-Copelouzos consortium as a preferred bidder in November 2014 for the 40-year operating concessions, for both Clusters A and B, according to the highest bid of 1.234 billion euros for both clusters.

Fraport and Copelouzos Group established their joint company, Fraport Greece, in 2015 to act as the concessionaire for both concessions.

On Dec. 14, 2015, Fraport Greece signed deals with the HRADF and the Greek state for the 40-year concessions for the two clusters. The contracts are based exactly on the same bid submitted by Fraport-Copelouzos and selected by HRADF in November 2014.  

The consortium overtook the management of the 14 airports, which includes most of Greece's pre-eminent tourist destinations, in March 2017.

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Source: naftemporiki.gr

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