State aid: Commission approves Greek public funding for construction and operation of North section of E65 motorway

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Greek public funding of €442 million for the construction of the North section of the Central Greece Motorway (E65). The Commission also approved support estimated at €38 million to cover the operating and maintenance expenses of the section, in case the toll revenues are not sufficient.

This will allow the completion and operation of part of the Trans-European road network, without causing undue distortions of competition.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The construction of the North section of the Central Greece motorway will complete the Greek part of the E65, contributing to the development of the areas concerned. This decision enables Greece to support the construction of this important infrastructure, which is part of the Trans European road network.”

In May 2019, Greece notified the Commission of its plan to grant €442 million of public support to Kentriki Odos S.A. for the construction of the 70.5 km North section of the Central Greece Motorway (E65). Kentriki Odos S.A. is also the concessionaire of the Middle and South section of the E65 motorway.The 180 km long Greek E65 motorway connects the Athens-Thessaloniki motorway (PATHE) with the Egnatia motorway.

Furthermore, Greece notified its plans to support the operation of the North section by covering the operating and maintenance expenses in case the toll revenues of the section are not sufficient. The operating support is estimated at €38 million.

The Commission assessed the measures under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which allows State aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas.

The Commission found that:

the aid will contribute to the development of the economic areas which the E65 motorway mainly serves: Central Greece, Thessaly and Western Macedonia. It will create economic activity and support investment and job creation in these areas, by improving the interoperability, accessibility and safety of the road network. The aid will also help to overcome traffic isolation of these areas and to upgrade fast, international road connection to Albania and North Macedonia.

the aid does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest, since its positive effects in terms of contribution to the development of economic areas clearly outweigh its limited negative effects in terms of distortions of competition and impact on trade between Member States. The support measures are necessary and proportionate for the implementation of the project. In particular, Greece demonstrated that (i) the public financing corresponds to a reasonable estimation of construction costs; (ii) with regard to the operating support, Kentriki Odos S.A. will only be granted the difference between the capped operating and maintenance costs and the toll revenues, and the revenues exceeding the operating and maintenance costs will be returned to the State via a claw-back mechanism; and (iii) the cost estimates are reasonable when comparing to other motorways.

The Commission therefore concluded that the public funding granted for the construction and operation of the North section of the E65 motorway is in line with EU State aid rules.

Background

The Commission already adopted 3 decisions related to the E65 Central Greece Motorway. In 2008, the Commission adopted a “no-aid” decision (N 565/2007) concerning the concession for the entire E65 motorway project. Thereafter, due to the economic crisis, there was a significant decrease in traffic and as result, in toll income. Therefore, the concessionaire could not raise the necessary funds on the market and works on the project stopped in 2011. To unblock the situation, in 2013 the Greek State reached an agreement with the concessionaire which involved (i) a deferral of the construction of the North (70.5 km) and South (32.5 km) sections of the highway; (ii) a further financial contribution by the State; and (iii) cross-subsidisation by revenues from another Greek motorway for the middle section (78.5 km). The Commission approved these measures in 2013 (SA.36893). In 2018, the Commission approved public funding for the construction of the South section of the E65 Motorway (SA.50233).

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.54273 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of State aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

THE ROAD TO GANESHA

At Davos, UN chief urges ‘big emitters’ to take climate action

In Bahrain, Global Forum for Entrepreneurs and Investment examines empowerment of women, youth through innovation

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: UN Secretary-General Announces “Climate Action 2016” Partnership

‘Repeated attacks’ could close down key hospital in eastern Libya, says WHO

UN chief highlights action across borders for ‘stable and prosperous Eurasia’

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

Here’s why China’s trade deal with Mauritius matters

Bangladesh, South Africa and Bolivia all beat the US for women’s representation in politics

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

Speeches of Vice Premier LIU He and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen at the Press Conference of the Seventh China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

Thinking throughout HIV: changing a perspective

OECD Steel Committee concerned about excess capacity in steel sector

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe

4 rules to stop governments misusing COVID-19 tech after the crisis

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

Illicit trade endangers the environment, the law and the SDGs. We need a global response

LGBTQ+: The social evolution of a minority

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

The EU prepares for the end of LIBOR: the Commission welcomes the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on financial benchmarks

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

Fighting against the Public Health System dismantling means guaranteeing assistance to all

8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Parliament criticises Council’s rejection of money laundering blacklist

Revamp collective bargaining to prevent rising labour market inequalities in rapidly changing world of work

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

China in my eyes

Why 2020 will see the birth of the ‘trust economy’

Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s what it does differently

Providing mental health during pandemic times

Four ways Artificial Intelligence can make healthcare more efficient and affordable

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

Does Draghi have another ace up his sleeve given his Quantitative Easing failure?

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

The link between air pollution and COVID-19 deaths

Execution of juvenile offender in Iran ‘deeply distressing’ – UN rights chief

Protecting farmers and quality products: vote on EU farm policy reform plans

What’s needed to ensure maternal health for women in vulnerable populations

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

Trump declares emergency and WHO urges speed – latest coronavirus updates

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

Schools must look to the future when connecting students to the internet

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

Mental health in midst of a pandemic: can we help?

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s