Brussels, 13 June 2012
Commission approves major EU co‑investment for motorway concession in Greek Peloponnese region
The European Commission has today approved an investment of €252 million from the structural funds to build a major highway running through the Peloponnese region in Greece. This project is the second big motorway construction to be approved in one month time and involves a total cost of €296 million, including national and private investments. It will create 6,000 new jobs during the construction phase. It is also another of the 181 priority projects presented by the European Commission last November in order to accelerate the return of growth in Greece, by investing structural funds, of which for the country from 2007 until 2013 in total €20.4 billion is available.
Commenting on the decision, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn said “This new motorway concession in Greece is a good example of how structural funds can stimulate public-private investment and make it happen. It will connect the Peloponnese region to the rest of Greece and the EU, providing new opportunities for growth It shows as well that our priority projects are really gathering speed.”
The project consists of the finalization of the Korinthos-Tripoli-Kalamata (159 km) and the Lefktro-Sparti (46 km) stretches. The axis belongs to the Trans‑European Transport Network (TEN-T). This is the result of a public-private partnership and will be managed by Moreas A.E. The entire project includes the construction of seven tunnels and should be finished by the end of 2013. Parts of the motorway will already be finished this year.
The new motorway will reduce the travelling time between Korinthos – Tripoli – Kalamata from 2 hours and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 52 minutes, while on the Tripoli – Sparti the travelling time is expected to fall from 1 hour to 45 minutes, opening up the region for further investments as well.
The EU side of the investment is done via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and forms part of a programme called “reinforcing accessibility” to improve transport infrastructure in Greece by 2013.
This is one of the so-called "major projects", of which the total public funding is above €50 million and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission, whereas other types of projects are approved at national or regional levels.
In November 2011, a list of 181 co-funded priority projects of high investment value was identified together with the Greek authorities. The list accounts for 56% of the available cohesion policy investment in Greece for the period 2007-2013. On it, 13 major projects have been adopted by the Commission (see also IP/12/549).