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Motorway concessions: neither nationalization nor extension according to the Minister of Transport

2021-05-07T18:35:00.056Z

The Minister of Transport told the Senate Thursday, May 6 that the government did not intend to renationalize or extend the motorway concessions.



Modernize

” the contracts that bind the State to the motorway companies.

This is the government's watchword, according to Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the Minister of Transport, who spoke Thursday, May 6 in the Senate during a debate on highway concessions.

For the government, there is therefore no question of renationalizing or extending the existing concessions.

Read also: In Arles, the motorway project continues to sow discord

A report castigates the management of highways

The Minister of Transport disagrees with the analysis of a recent Senate report, according to which Vinci Autoroutes and Eiffage should reach profitability by 2022, plus ten years before the end of their concessions.

The dividends paid would then reach around 40 billion euros, including 32 billion for Vinci and Eiffage.

Most of the concessions will be made between 2031 and 2036 still according to the report.

To read also: Does the State plan to privatize the national roads?

"

It therefore appears unthinkable to extend the current concessions, and if the choice is made to renew them when they expire, the duration will have to be reduced as a minimum

", noted Senator Eric Jeansannetas, chairman of the committee for senatorial inquiry.

"

We must stop the infernal logic of work-extension of work

", added the centrist Vincent Delahaye, rapporteur of the commission of inquiry, evoking contracts "

poorly tied

".

It is necessary on the contrary, according to him, to negotiate "

additional work without compensation

", not to hesitate to brandish penalties, and to negotiate certain reductions in tolls.

The minister opposed to "concession-bashing"

"

There is no report or any analysis that would robustly prove the over-profitability of concessionary companies

," replied Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.

Mr. Djebbari spoke out against “

concession-bashing

”, recalling that the motorway companies paid 50 billion euros in taxes between 2006 and 2018, during which time they invested 20 billion in the network.

Read also: Motorway breakdown assistance climbs to € 131.94

The Minister sees in the upcoming end of the concessions "

the opportunity to have a critical debate on our infrastructure financing model without complacency or demagoguery

" to "

make it change for the better

".

He advocates a "

better framework for

existing

contracts

", recalling that mechanisms now prevent "

excess profits

".

No nationalization, no extension

Mr. Djebbari said he was opposed to an interruption of contracts before their expiry.

A renationalization would cost "

more than 47 billion euros

" and would be an obstacle to the rule of law, according to him.

He also spoke out against extending concessions in exchange for new work.

"

To want too much to prolong the contracts of the past, we would risk increasing their disconnection with the expectations of the French

", he noted.

However, contracts must be "

modernized

", in particular to accommodate electric vehicles and take better account of environmental issues "

and find mechanisms for greater price moderation

", noted the Minister, without further clarification.

A "

highways summit

" should address these issues, he said.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2021-05-07

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