ECONOMY

Minister finally asks Athens Airport chief to proceed with contract extension

minister-finally-asks-athens-airport-chief-to-proceed-with-contract-extension

The road is opening up for an extension to Athens International Airport’s concession contract, as it has finally been decided to include the issue in the agenda of the  AIA governing board’s next meeting, on the recommendation of Infrastructure and Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis to Panayiotis Roumeliotis, president of AIA’s board of directors.

Sources say that the minister has sent a letter to Roumeliotis that in effect signals the start of negotiations for the contract’s extension by another 20 years. The minister is said to have written that the extension of the contract will also include the renegotiation of the existing contract’s terms.

The letter mentions nothing about the sale of a stake in Athens International Airport, either now or in the future. However, it is doubtful whether state sell-off fund TAIPED will be able to avoid the sale of the 30 percent stake it controls, given the pressure from the country’s creditors. Still, the letter shows the intention of the minister to impose his own position – and possibly that of other cabinet members – on the process of AIA’s further privatization.