It was approved as it became known a while ago by the Commission, the project for the northern part of the E65 motorway, Trikala-Egnatia.
The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, amount funding 442 million. euros from the Greek state for the construction of the northern part of the highway of Central Greece (E65).
The Commission also approved an estimated amount of support 38 million. euros to cover the operation and maintenance costs of the department, in case the toll revenues are not sufficient.
Following this development, the amendment of the contract is expected to proceed, to be ratified by the Parliament and then to be signed to start the works. This is estimated to happen within 2021. The projects will be undertaken by TERNA, as in the southern part of the E65, Lamia-Xyniada.
The happy ending was almost the result of negotiations 2 years, from the moment the request was lodged with the Commission. It is one of the major projects promoted by the government and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
The Minister of YPOME, Costas Karamanlis, had reported the project for the northern part of the E65, ως ένα από τα έργα που ξεμπλόκαρε η κυβέρνηση. Είναι ένα από τα έργα πού η ηγεσία του υπουργείου έριξε ιδιαίτερο βάρος, as they believed in its value and chased the project approval.
This project will complete the entire highway from Lamia to Egnatia and connects Central Greece with Thessaly with Western Macedonia and Epirus..
This section was "orphaned" as no funding had been secured. With its construction, Epirus acquires easy and safe access to Central Greece.
This funding will allow part of the trans-European road network to be completed and operational, without distorting competition.
The Executive Vice President, Μαργκρέιτε Westeyer, responsible for competition policy, he stated: "The construction of the northern part of the Central Greece highway will complete the Greek section of the E65 and will contribute to the development of the areas served by the highway.. This decision will enable Greece to support the construction of this important infrastructure, which is part of the trans-European road network. "
In May 2019, Greece has notified the Commission of its plan to provide public support for the amount 442 million. euros to the company "Central Road SA" for the construction of the northern part, length 70,5 km, of the highway of Central Greece (E65). The Central Road SA. is also the concessionaire of the middle and southern part of the E65 motorway. The Greek highway E65, length 180 km, connects the existing PATHE highway with the Egnatia Odos.
In addition, Greece announces plans to support operation of northern part to cover operating and maintenance costs, in the event that the revenue from the tolls in that section is insufficient. Operational support is estimated at 38 million. euro.
Η Επιτροπή αξιολόγησε τα μέτρα σύμφωνα με το article 107 paragraph 3 στοιχείο γ) της Συνθήκης για τη λειτουργία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης (ΣΛΕΕ), which allows state aid to promote the development of certain economic activities or economic areas.
The Commission found the following:
Η ενίσχυση will contribute to the development of economic areas Central Greece, Thessaly and Western Macedonia που εξυπηρετούνται από τον αυτοκινητόδρομο Ε65. It will boost economic activity and support investment and job creation in these areas, improving interoperability, accessibility and safety of the road network. The aid will also help, on the one hand, in tackling the problem of traffic isolation of these areas and, Secondly, in upgrading a fast, international road connection with Albania and Northern Macedonia.
The aid shall not alter the terms of trade in a manner which is contrary to the common interest, as its positive effects on its contribution to the development of economic regions clearly outweigh its limited negative effects on distortions of competition and the effects on trade between Member States.
Τα μέτρα στήριξης είναι necessary and proportionate for the implementation of the project.
particularly, η Ελλάδα απέδειξε ότι
i) η δημόσια χρηματοδότηση αντιστοιχεί σε εύλογη εκτίμηση του κόστους κατασκευής· ii) in terms of operational support, the Central Road SA. will only receive the difference between the maximum operating and maintenance costs and the toll revenue, ενώ τα έσοδα που υπερβαίνουν τις δαπάνες λειτουργίας και συντήρησης θα επιστρέφονται στο δημόσιο μέσω μηχανισμού ανάκτησης· και iii) cost estimates are reasonable compared to estimates for other highways.
Hence, The Commission concluded that the public funding provided for the construction and operation of the northern section of the E65 motorway was in line with EU State aid rules..