BUSINESS

Parliament to confirm airport concession soon

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Privatizations

Parliament will approve the concession contracts for the 14 regional airports to be operated and upgraded by the Fraport-led consortium just after Easter, and definitely before the completion of the bailout review.

The draft law to that effect is almost ready and is expected to include the two concession contracts, each concerning a cluster of seven airports, as provided for by the tender proclaimed by state privatization fund TAIPED.

For the process to have reached such an advanced level, this means that the government has not only secured the approval of the country’s Competition Commission, but also the opinion of European Commission competition authorities that the contracts do not constitute a state subsidy.

Passing the law will ease the pressure from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) unionists and others who have reacted to the concession of the 14 airports. CAA people and other civil servants have been preventing Fraport officials from entering the airports.

The biggest obstacles have been reported at the terminals of Thessaloniki and Cephalonia. In the case of the former, the question is who is backing those who are preventing the entry of Fraport officials to the Makedonia Airport, while in the latter it appears that the protesters have taken heart from a so-called referendum that the head of the Ionian Islands’ Regional Authority carried out on the concession of the airports. The online poll showed that 75 percent of those who voted were against the concession. However, no more than 3 percent of the region’s 200,000 registered voters took part in it.

Online