ECONOMY

Infrastructure Ministry aims at reversal of negative trend

infrastructure-ministry-aims-at-reversal-of-negative-trend

The new minister of infrastructure, Costas A. Karamanlis, will have to juggle several hot potatoes when he takes over the portfolio on Wednesday, as in the net result of economic growth in infrastructure projects has been negative for the last four-and-a-half years, according to sector professionals.

A 2016 law on public contracts created more problems than it resolved – it underwent more than 130 amendments – most serious of which is the fact that it takes about two years from the tender for an ordinary public project until work on it can begin.

Another problem concerns the failure to leverage private funds for the development of new projects, with company officials saying that the European Commission’s incentives package for Public-Private Partnerships was not utilized.

At the same time, the Public Investments Program continued to shrink, so that the financing of any new infrastructure projects relied almost exclusively on European Union funds.

According to New Democracy’s program, the restart in the construction sector will take place with the implementation of investments worth 12 billion euros, aimed at creating 43,000 jobs.