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The contractors’ money will be state revenue!

The contractors’ money will be state revenue!

They will be paid to the relevant municipality and those who disobey will have problems with the tax authorities

The Infrastructure ministry is planning to turn the money “sucked away” by the movement against tolls into public revenue, which if not collected, will cause problems with the tax authorities. Wanting to deal with the losses, they are looking into providing a special regulation in the Traffic Code so that there will be fines to the relevant municipalities for toll fares which are not collected. The government is rushing into this under the strong pressure and claims from constructors about blocked projects around the country.

In the case the fine is never paid, the citizen will have problems in his transactions and will not be able to receive tax clearance.

According to sources from the ministry, this regulation will hit all users and mainly the transport companies that cause the major revenue bleedout from tolls due to the non-payment tactics.

Similar problems have been encountered by Aftokinitodromos Agaiou, which is constructing the Maliakos-Kleidi section, where the losses from truck drivers exceed 30%. The enforcement of this measure is expected within the next 2 months via a regulation in the bill for the cleansing of urban transport.

As concerns illegal passage in urban transport, as «Proto Thema» revealed on Sunday, the government is preparing a separate regulation that will provide for the intervention of justice for those who do not pay the fine and incur imprisonment that will even go up to three months.

«We are non-profitable companies»

The five concession agreements are thus far moving along with schedules derailed by up to two years, new toll stations that will not be built unless alternative sources of revenue can be found and improved completion rates, at least regarding the delivery of sites.

In a joint press conference yesterday, the highway consortiums attributed the long delays to the evils of expropriation, wanting at the same time to convey the message that they are not pocketing the toll takings in order to share the revenue amongst themselves since for every collected euro, 3 to 10 times more is invested in construction.

«We are a loss-incurring company» said Jules Godard, the representative of Vinci, a company taking part in the construction of Korinthos-Patra, and he did not hesitate to accuse the government of allowing the increase in petrol prices which, as he said, force the drivers to fill up with 100 euros and limit their movements, upsetting the financial model of the projects.  

The companies avoided giving details of their negotiations with the government and tried to highlight their contribution to development, citing the thousands of workers employed but also the reduction in travel time that will come with the completion of the projects. They did not exclude reductions in the toll network under construction, but refused to refer to the proposals filed at the ministry, saying that they would not “negotiate through the press”!

On its part, the government is seeking the means whereby the tolls will be subsidized by future state revenue which will exceed 22bil euros within the 30yrs of the concessions, to avoid future increases and decrease the present prices.

As relevant government sources say, the aim is not to disturb the core of the concessions but to find the formula of subsidizing the contractors, which is reportedly being discussed between the ministry of Finance and the Troika. But this puzzle is for very powerful solvers and most of the “words” are unknown!
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