ENGLISH

Talks for renegotiating road toll hikes 'difficult', minister says

Δημοσίευση 25 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 09:53 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Talks for renegotiating road toll hikes 'difficult', minister says
Facebook Twitter Whatsapp

The government had begun talks with the consortiums holding concessions to exploit national highways to renegotiate road toll hikes but these were proving complex and difficult, Deputy Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Magriotis said on Monday.

The government had begun talks with the consortiums holding concessions to exploit national highways to renegotiate road toll hikes but these were proving complex and difficult, Deputy Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Magriotis said on Monday.

"We have begun the first round of renegotiations," he said but emphasised that these involved several banks and 20 Greek and foreign construction firms, each of which had its own approach.

Asked when the government would issue a list of seven locations where companies would give free passes to local residents that had no alternative access road, he said that this had to be first agreed with the concession-holders because they were responsible for collecting the tolls and they had to agree because such free passes would mean a loss of revenue.

The contractors-concession holders have announced a series of road toll hikes on national highways that go into effect as of midnight on Monday.

Concerning works on the metro, Magriotis said there were still outstanding issues concerning the tenders for signalling and remote management.

The tenders were held in 2008 and only Siemens had submitted a bid because the metro was built using Siemens technology, winning the contract by default. At that point, however, the Siemens kickbacks scandal had erupted and the entire process was suspended so that no contract was signed.

The minister said that the government had a plan for dealing with the issue that it would unveil in the next few days, after the findings of the Parliamentary inquiry into the Siemens scandal were published.

Public transport fare hikes necessary, gov't says

Government spokesman George Petalotis on Monday said that the increases in public transport fares that will apply from next month were necessary so that the public transport organisations could "stand on their own feet" and announced that measures would be taken to control rampant fare-dodging.

The spokesman said that public transport would stay in the state sector but that the government would seek to end abuses that had existed, ensuring better services and low prices. If the previous government of Costas Karamanlis had taken the necessary measures, public transport would be healthy and no fare increase would be needed, he added.