FinMin Tsakalotos briefed on issues affecting northern Greek firms and organisations

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) will hold a tender inviting bids for the Egnatia Highway road tolls concession within two months, the head of Egnatia Odos S.A. Apostolos Antonoudis said after his meeting with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in Thessaloniki on Friday.

The meeting was held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Thessaloniki, where Tsakalotos had a series of meetings with the heads of firms and organisations based in northern Greece.

Antonoudis said that additional proposals for exploiting the highway were also on the table, such as public-private sector partnerships for energy networks, rest stops for motorists and logistics centres.

The company’s Managing Director Ria Kalfakakou, who was also at the meeting, said they had presented Tsakalotos with a proposal ensuring that the Greek state will also earn revenue from the highway’s operation, not just the concessionaire. Finally, they discussed the issue of fines imposed on individuals that refused to pay road tolls and harmonising these with penalties imposed on other highway in the country.

Earlier, the finance minister had also met the head of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall Prof. Nikitas Mylopoulos, who asked for an increase in the regular state grant to help meet the concert hall’s requirements and ensure its ability to continue its artistic programme. According to Mylopoulos, the minister was “positively disposed” and promised to examine the margins for increasing the organisation’s grant.

Tsakalotos also had a meeting with the head of Thessaloniki’s water supply and sewerage company EYATH, Ioannis Krestenitis, who said they had exchanged views on EYATH’s business plan up to 2021, as well as discussing the company’s inclusion in the privatisation ‘hyperfund’ and how this will affect it growth planning.

According to Krestenitis, nothing new arose during the meeting, beyond what was already known, while he briefed Tsakalotos on the company’s plans for expanding its network and installations over the next three to four years, in order to expand into new areas and better serve the public.

In addition to the above, the minister also met the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) presidency, the board chairman of the State Theatre of Northern Greece Aris Stylianos, Deputy Minister for Macedonia-Thrace Maria-Kollia Tsaroucha, who discussed the challenges faced by the economy of Macedonia-Thrace, especially in the primary production and manufacturing sectors.