ECONOMY

Pandemic affects public works projects

pandemic-affects-public-works-projects

The coronavirus pandemic and the strict measures enacted to contain it have unavoidably affected public works projects.

New competitive tenders have been suspended until April 30. Tenders underway by March 20 will be delayed, with expressions of interests or submissions of offers postponed by two months.

The deadline for projects already under way has also been pushed back two months.

Technical firms involved in projects face a great cash flow problem, since they still need to pay back loans, pay their employees and their suppliers. These firms are clamoring for state assistance and it appears that the government is already mulling some form of aid.

The Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) is complaining that authorities are imposing fines to companies and individual employees for contravening the quarantine measures on the coronavirus even though  the government has not explicitly banned the continuation of public works projects.

TEE also says the government has not issued guidelines on working conditions, where, in many cases, there is an unavoidable lack of “social distance” among workers, whether the works are indoors or outdoors. Avoiding infection also makes working at the Athens and Thessaloniki metro projects problematic, it says.