This will allow the completion of part of the Trans-European road network, without causing undue distortions of competition.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "The construction of the southern section of the Central Greece motorwaywill improve the transport links for Greek citizens in the region, in line with EU transport policy objectives and the completion of the Trans European road network. Our decision today will allow the Greek government to support the building of this important new stretch of motorway."
In January 2018, Greece notified the Commission its plan to grant €306 million of public support to Kentriki Odos SA for the construction of the southern section of the Central Greece Motorway (E65), which will mainly serve the Greek region of Sterea Ellada, from the city of Lamia to Xyniada. Kentriki Odos SA, concessionaire of the Central Greece Motorway project, has constructed and currently operates the central middle section of the E65 motorway.
The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which allows State aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or areas and found that:
- the support measure will contribute to objectives of common EU interest and in particular to EU transport policy, as it will support the completion of the Trans-European road networkand improve transport links for Greek citizens living in the Sterea Ellada region.
- the support measure is necessary and proportionate for the implementation of the project. In particular, Greece demonstrated that (i) the public financing corresponds to the inflation adjusted construction costs as estimated in the 2007 tender for the construction of the southern section of the E65 motorway; and (ii) that Kentriki Odos SA will cover itself the operation and maintenance of the project, and any excessive revenues will be returned to the State via a claw-back mechanism.
The Commission therefore concluded that the public funding granted for the construction of the southern section of the E65 motorway is in line with EU State aid rules.
The non-confidential version of this decision will be made available under the case number SA.50233 in the State Aid Register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of State aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.