A trash bag-full of tenders

Hopeful contractors watched in astonishment as a young man carrying a trash bag entered a building where tenders were being submitted for three projects in the Lamia area. They soon discovered that the bag contained about 50 tenders for the projects from companies based all over Greece. One firm had undertaken to write them up on behalf of all the others so as to determine the outcome, since public projects are awarded to the lowest bidder. The projects concerned were the upgrading of the Atalanti road to the border of South Viotia (2.95 million euros), work on the Lamia trench (1.87 million euros) and anti-flooding works in Lianokladi and Lygaria (3.27 million euros). After the furor this caused, the Assignment Report Committee (EEA) for Central Greece is having difficulty assigning the projects. Local construction firms say there is the danger of exceeding the date by which tenders become invalid, which would result in the competition being canceled. The hucksters and their protectors in the public service are undaunted by such problems. A recent competition for a project to widen the Thebes-Livadia road drew 163 tenders, most of which were submitted purely in order to fix the outcome of the competition.