Thursday, 14 June 2012

European Commission approves funding for construction project in the Peloponnese

Today the European Commission approved 252 million Euros of funding for the construction of a motorway in the Peloponnese. The total amount of the investment is estimated at 296 million Euros and is a  joint investment of the private, European and public sector. It is estimated that it will create 6,000 jobs while the project will go on. In 2007-2013 it is estimated that almost 20 billion Euros will flow to Greece and 181 projects will take place.
Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner of Regional Policy, said that “it is a great project that shows how less developed regions can develop. It will create jobs and economic growth in the Peloponnese”. The project involves the construction of the motorway which will link Korinthos, Tripoli and Kalamata with a total of 159km and the motorway from Lefktron to Sparta totaling 47km. It also involves the construction of seven tunnels. The project will be ready by 2013 but parts of it will be ready by the end of 2012. It is one of the “big projects” meaning more than 50million Euros, thus requiring the European Commission’s approval. It is estimated that it will reduce the time needed to go from Korinthos to Kalamata from 2 hours and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 52 minutes. The other route will be reduced from 1 hour to just 45 minutes. Along with that, 13 more projects have received approval by the European Commission.

The private company that will receive the funding is MOREAS A.E. MOREAS, the same one which was caught in 2011 when an audit by the Economic Police  found that the company was using oil for heating instead of oil for vehicles in its trucks. The difference is that oil for heating is not taxed and therefore is way cheaper than the other. They have no other difference except their color. The heating oil is colored red to distinguish it from the other during inspections. With that trick the company managed not to pay thousands of Euros as taxes to the Greek state. The company responded that although the accusations were true, the trucks were hired and not owned by the company so it does not bear any responsibility. Also, in a case brought up just before the previous elections, Mr Makis Voridis, the neo-Nazi axe-bearing Minister of New Democracy, signed to let the company impose tolls on a part of the road which it had not yet constructed. This was clearly against the agreement signed between the company and the state when the project began. It is likely that the company wanted more funds and decided to ask for an extra toll station. Also, Mr Voridis, signed new laws making it a crime not to pay tolls, as a huge movement demanded public and free motorways. The tolls imposed on motorways are many times illegal, and companies resort to illegal tactics to make drivers pay them needlessly. In a lot of cases, companies have been asking for tolls not to pay for the initial investment, but to make profit on it. Of course, after the investment, they only raise the toll fees although they had not invested their own capital.
Why is the MOREAS company offered such a sweet deal? MOREAS is a consortium of two companies, Ellaktor and Intralot. The main owner of Ellaktor is Mr. Bobolas. Mr. Bobolas is a well-known oligarch who also owns DOL, the biggest media group in Greece which fiercely supports bail-outs and New Democracy party. Another example of Greek business as usual.
Source: (European Commission,,

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