Preparations have started in the Ministry of economics and finance to face the damages expected in the private sector due to the crisis. One of the measures is to increase this year’s spending on public-private partnerships to $1.7 to 2bil. Last year, those long-term commitments between the public and the private sector were granted $1.3bil. The Ministry’s initiative will balance for the huge drop-down in the private sector investment.
In the public-private partnership model, the public and the private sector gain common ownership and responsibility rights in providing quality services. The public sector takes over infrastructure projects, such as building hospitals, schools, prisons, roads and tunnels, normally executed by the public sector.
The first project in the current framework was the building of six fire stations to the value of $25.4mil in Thessaloniki, Kalabrita, Ianica, Aleksandroupoli, Veria, Gargalianous and Levkada. The work on the stations will start as soon as all the permissions are issued, and is expected to finish in 2011.
After the contract was signed, the Minister of economics and finance Ianis Papathanasiou declared: “We are entering the last phase in accomplishing what had been planned four years ago. This is the first contract out of 52 projects scheduled to take place in the public-private partnerships project, with a total amount of ?5,7bil. With their accomplishment, 327 Economical development programs emphasizing on the social, economical and political environment of the specific region will be completed. Until now 15 competitions with a budget of ?1.5bil have been conducted, and at least one such competition will take place every month in 2009.”
Besides that, the finance minister noted the contribution of the European Investment Bank which took part in financing the first project providing favorable credit conditions for the project executor. “The European Investment Bank participation is a confirmation that the practices followed in conducting the public-private partnership projects observe the international norms” added Papathanasiou.