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Spiegel: Fraport wants 70 mln€ rebate from Greek state for poor condition of 14 airports it recently took over

The consortium that recently assumed the management of 14 regional airports around Greece – including ones in the best-known tourism destinations – reportedly wants a 70-million-euro rebate from the Greek state due to the worse-than-expected condition of the facilities, according to a press report by Spiegel on Thursday.

In an article with an Athens dateline, Spiegel claims the Fraport Greece consortium, where Frankfurt-based Fraport holds a controlling share, is entitled to claim compensation based on the concession agreement that was implemented last April with the Greek state.

Local press reports this week were rife with allegations that the airports’ new management discovered some 12,000 burned out light bulbs at the 14 facilities, in one instance of poor maintenance. Other reports cited non-operable fire extinguishers. Prior to the takeover other reports swirled that no functioning fire engines were available at Thessaloniki’s Macedonia Airport, which serves Greece’s second largest urban area.

Spiegel noted that neither Fraport Greece officials nor the leftist-rightist coalition government that finally handed over the airports to the private sector wanted to comment on the report.

The state-managed Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), Greece’s memorandum-mandated privatization agency, selected the Fraport-Copelouzos consortium as a preferred bidder in November 2014 for the 40-year operating concessions, for both Clusters A and B, based on the highest bid of 1.234 billion euros for both clusters.

Fraport and Copelouzos Group established their joint company, Fraport Greece, in 2015 to act as the concessionaire for the two concessions.

On Dec. 14, 2015, Fraport Greece signed contracts with the HRADF and the Greek state for the 40-year concessions for the two clusters. The contracts are based exactly on the same bid submitted by Fraport-Copelouzos and selected by HRADF in November 2014.  

The consortium assumed the management of the 14 airports, which includes most of Greece’s pre-eminent tourist destinations, in March 2017.