The next couple of weeks will be decisive for the successful completion of the 20-year extension of the Athens International Airport concession contract, as consultations with the European Union’s competition authorities have entered a critical stage, sources from the government and the parties involved have told Kathimerini.
The EU authorities reportedly consider the price that has been agreed between AIA and sell-off fund TAIPED too low, disputing the calculation of airport growth and revenues for the coming years.
Therefore, TAIPED’s legal and financial consultants (Clifford Chance LLP, Eurobank and Eurobank Equities, Lamda Infrastructure Finance, and Potamitis-Vekris) and those of AIA have been engaged for the past few weeks in talks with Brussels aimed at reaching an agree on whether the price of 600 million euros (including value-added tax) is fair for the contract extension.
Brussels argues that the low price may be seen as falling into the category of state subsidies, but if the Commission demands an increase, there is a question over how much higher the contractor is prepared to go.
AIA sources have told Kathimerini that patience will be required, implying the process may take months instead of weeks, as TAIPED officials believe.