NEWS

Insufficient experience

Gefyra’s president has decided views on the controversial subject of co-funded projects in Greece that have been dragging on for years, particularly on the seven new road projects which began four years ago but two of which are still in the early design stages. «Even today, Greek management does not have the experience needed for co-funding,» notes Teyssandier. «Naturally there are two that are now open (Rio bridge and Attiki Odos) but in the new projects that Vinci is involved in, the management is once again coming up against problems that we had resolved previously. You need the same amount of energy and time to solve the same problems you had solved previously.» Teyssandier believes that management is not properly structured, since there are people who know about co-funded projects (having worked on the bridge or Attiki Odos) but who are not involved in the seven new projects. «They could form a special service, one that is properly structured, a specialized legal advisory body, for example, which does not exist today. That is why these projects are taking so much time. I think they will go ahead, but it will take many, many years. This is unfortunate, because there are some (such as the Corinth-Patras highway) that are truly attractive to the private sector,» he added. «Some years ago we tried to convince the government to build underground car parks by means of co-funding. Unfortunately, they did not understand how these should be carried out, that certain rules had to be observed (for example, the entrance on the right street and the parking station in the right area),» said Teyssandier, who understandably has reservations about the government’s recently announced plan to go ahead with smaller projects, such as hospitals, government buildings and schools, with funding from the private sector based on the British PFI model. «The Greek administration is not ready to carry out PFI projects based on the British model because it doesn’t know how. They have absolutely no experience in these procedures. They will gradually find out. The British know because they have been working this way for many years. In France, for example, there is not the same experience, but we are carrying out other projects on the basis of the PFI model,» he added. Teyssandier came to Greece for an appointment at the ministry and ended up staying 20 years. Thanks to him, the French construction group became involved in a showpiece project. Within the next few months, he will be heading back to Vinci headquarters, perhaps looking for new opportunities to build difficult and original projects around the world.