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Motorways: Bruno Le Maire wants to shorten the duration of concessions


The minister admitted that the calculations of profitability for shareholders dating back to the privatization of the motorways in 2006 had "not been good".

The government has asked the Council of State how it would be possible to shorten

"by a few years"

the duration of the concessions of certain motorway companies, which have been more profitable than expected, Economy Minister Bruno Le said on Wednesday. Mayor, Wanting

to “avoid any rent”.

He acknowledged before the Finance and Sustainable Development Committees of the National Assembly that the calculations of profitability for shareholders dating back to the privatization of the highways in 2006 had "not

been good"


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With interest rates falling sharply thereafter, concession companies - notably Vinci, Eiffage and the Spanish Abertis - were able to repay their stake at a lower cost, improving their profitability as toll rates continued to rise. regularly in accordance with the contracts concluded with the State.

"We were wrong

," acknowledged the minister, before noting that the recent rise in interest rates would no doubt lead to redoing the calculations.

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"This is the way that seems to us the most legally sound and economically the most promising

," he added.

Hence the referral to the Council of State.

The Minister Delegate for Transport Clément Beaune specified that the lawyers of the Royal Palace should also study

“all the tax options”

, the government intending to put the motorway companies to contribution to finance the effort announced on the rail.

Bruno Le Maire also wants, as suggested by the Transport Regulatory Authority (ART), that the new contracts be shorter and that they include

"a clause for revising toll rates according to the level of profitability"


The two ministers did not hide their preference for a renewal of the current model of concessions - certainly fitted - , Bruno Le Maire rejecting any renationalization of the motorways which, according to him, would cost between 40 and 50 billion euros to taxpayers.

While the main current concessions, covering more than 90% of the motorways conceded, must come to an end between 2031 and 2036, Clément Beaune has announced the organization of "Assises des autoroutes" by the summer.

“All questions will be asked about the

, he assured.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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