The State Audit Council has according to sources approved the amendment to Athens International Airport’s concession contract that extends its duration for another 20 years, until 2046. Now state privatizations fund TAIPED and the company that operates the airport are aiming to sign the contract by year-end.
It is not clear if the amended contract will also have to be signed by the Ministerial Committee for Reorganization and Privatizations.
In fall 2017 TAIPED failed to obtain the State Audit Council’s approval for the original extension contract, which had provided for a price of 600 million euros, as the council decided the task did not fall within its competence. Consequently TAIPED asked the ministerial committee to approve the plan so that it could get political and legal coverage, but the draft contract was rejected by Brussels.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition ruled that the price of 600 million was too low and that a minimum of 1.38 billion was required for it not to be seen as state subsidy. The government amended the extension contract, passed a law that necessitated the ruling of the State Audit Council, and can now finally expect Brussels to approve the amended extension so that it can be signed.