A glimmer of progress has apparently emerged in a long-delayed and oft-proposed project to build a new airport in Crete’s Irakleio prefecture, one of the prime tourism destinations in the country for several decades.
A binding offer was submitted last week by a consortium comprised of local construction group GEK Terna in partnership with Indian conglomerate GMR, a bid made within the deadline of a relevant state tender.
The projected price tag reaches nearly one billion euros – construction and expropriations of properties — making it by far the biggest development project on Crete, one of Greece’s most advanced regions.
The tender proceeded despite the fact that several candidates requested a postponement of the process until the end of 2017, although the ongoing procedure has been continuing off-and-on again for eight years.
Two changes were made in the tender before the deadline ended: the first dealt with the issue of international arbitration, and guarantees for the state’s interests, and the second envisioned a greater share for the state (45 to 55 percent) in the company that builds and later operates the new airport, at the Kastelli site, but no less than 35 percent over the entire period of the 37-year concession.