The clash between the head of state sell-off fund TAIPED, Stergios Pitsiorlas, and the president of the Athens International Airport board, Panayiotis Roumeliotis, continues unabated, and it looks set to get fiercer given the expected intervention by the country’s creditors. The latter will insist that Athens stick to its pledge for the sale by TAIPED of an AIA stake amounting to at least 30 percent.
A written statement by Pitsiorlas issued on Monday said that “TAIPED has demanded the start of negotiations for the extension of the concession contract [of AIA]. This process has not even started yet.”
This statement in effect criticizes the reluctance of cabinet members to promote the further privatization of AIA. The man giving voice to that policy is Roumeliotis, who appears to follow the same tough line supported by Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis, as for the last couple of months he has refused to bring up the issue of the contract’s extension with the AIA governing board, even though 100 percent of the company’s shareholders want the negotiations to begin.
The current contract expires in 2026 and the negotiations will concern its extension for another 20 years, as the existing contract provides for.