Greece gives green light to €291m road project

The Greek government has awarded a major road project to a consortium of three domestic construction firms and one from Italy. The €291m project, scheduled to complete in 2013, is the first step in an infrastructure programme designed to boost Greece’s ailing economy.

Greece’s Infrastructure Ministry yesterday awarded the construction of a 48-kilometre highway in Western Greece to domestic building firms AEGEK, Michaniki and Ionios and Italian firm Consorzio Stabile Italimprese.

Scheduled to complete in 2013, the road – which links Amvrakia with Aktion – is the first major infrastructure project awarded by the Socialist government since it came to power in October last year and takes advantage of a pool of €26 billion of European Union development money set aside for Greek infrastructure over the next four years.

Greece has many infrastructure projects in the pipeline but has struggled to bring them to financial close, with investors’ visibility limited by the uncertainty over Greece’s troubled public finances. Struggling to meet debt repayments, the Greek government may be forced to accept a European Union bailout in exchange for implementing major financial reforms.

By the end of this week, Greece is expected to announce tender details for the new Kasteli airport and two highways on the island of Crete. The projects are worth a combined €1.8 billion.