ECONOMY

Hochtief hit by Greek toll dodging

German construction group Hochtief revealed it may have to write down the value of its road contracts in Greece due to mass toll dodging.

The news accompanied a gloomy outlook for 2012 and a warning that the group might post a loss this year if it fails to sell its airport business on schedule.

“The economic crisis in Greece and persistent mass toll dodging led to major shortfalls in income development for the toll road projects Maliakos-Kleidi and Elefsina-Patras-Tsakona,» Hochtief said.

Greece has seen a swelling tide of people joining the «I don’t pay» movement this year, a sullen form of civil disobedience that emerged in the debt crisis, in which they refuse to pay transport tickets and tolls.

People have told toll collectors they won’t pay, have got out of their cars to either lift the bar blocking their passage manually or to destroy it.

Hochtief said the consortium that operates the toll roads in Greece was in talks with the southern European country’s government to find a long-term solution. [Reuters]