The European Union (EU) will provide financial support worth €2.97 billion (US$4.06 billion) to allow the building of four motorways in Greece.
It was approved on December 16th by the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn.The concessioners, Greek construction companies and European companies from several EU member states, have recently signed the recasting of the project. Financing sources, besides the Greek state, include the European Investment Bank (EIB) and about 40 Greek and international banks.
The four projects
included in the funding are the following:
- The Ionian motorway concession relates to the construction of the 196 km along with the works to upgrade existing sections of the PATHE motorway. The motorway will pass through four Greek regions: Ipiros, Dytiki Ellada, Sterea Ellada and Attiki. The European Regional Development Fund will finance €723.6 million (US$989.2 million).
- The completion of the Maliakos-Kleidi concession passing through the regions of Thessalia and Kentriki Makedonia, is about the construction of the Evangelismos - Skotina (24,71 km) stretch, along with works to upgrade existing sections (204,70 km) of the PATHE motorway. The Cohesion Fund will finance €699 million (US$955.5 million).
- The completion of the Elefsina - Korinthos - Patra motorway concession refers to the construction of the Korinthos - Patra (120 km) section, including the upgrade of existing sections (81,5 km) of the PATHE motorway.The European Regional Development Fund will finance €977 million (US$1335.6 million).
- The completion of the Central Greece motorway concession for the E-65 motorway, relates to the construction of the 78.5 km long section 'Xyniada-Trikala' and the installation of toll stations and a communication system on the Skarfeia - Raches stretch (57 km) of the PATHE motorway. The Cohesion Fund will finance €570 million (US$779.2 million)
The economic crisis caused serious problems in funding for four out of five motorway concessions. The sudden drop in traffic and the expected toll income as well as withdrawal of support from a part of the banking sector, effectively stopped the projects due to lack of funds.
The EU co-financing of up to € 2.97 billion for the 4 projects is part of a total investment cost of €4.6bn. On Friday, 13 December 2013, the EU Commission approved state aid for financing the construction of the four Greek motorways.