October 1, 2014

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Greek state wins case against Athens Int'l Airport But AIA Says Charges Are "Outrageous"

Earlier this week, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeals ruled in favour of the Greek state in its legal dispute with the "Athens International Airport (AIA)" company and the German "Hochtief" company which for 20 years was managing the construction and operation of the Eleftherios Venizelos Athens International Airport in Spata. After judging the evidence, the court concluded that AIA has not paid Value Added Tax to the Greek state for airport services.

Various reports commenting on the matter revealed that there is still no clear picture as to how much the German company's debt to the Greek state is because the debts were suspended as a result of the legal action underway and the fact the Tax Bureau has yet to calculate the amounts owed until 2013. According to the same reports, more court rulings are still pending for unpaid VAT (for other years).

Greece's Administrative Court of Appeals also apparently rejected the allegations made by the German company's legal representatives, which claim that the Greek state violated "good faith" or the European law, and ruled that based on the Greek Constitution, the international arbitration to which the German management sought recourse cannot write off the administrative fines imposed on the company.

In response, AIA said it had "kept to and continues to keep all of its legal obligations and therefore does not owe the Greek state outstanding debts, from VAT or other direct or indirect taxes, social security contributions and city taxes."

But wait there is more. It also cited outstanding obligations, amounting to something like 500-600 million Euros, saying that they were "outrageously erroneous, products of imagination and unsubstantiated."

(Certainly there is more here than meets the eye, but it has yet to address the real corruption. Last September HellasFrappe featured a revealing article by John Ward from the Slog claiming that he had information from a senior engineering supplier directly involved in the construction of the airport that more than 50% of the entire development cost was used to give politicians, purchasing directors, bureaucrats and minor officials a tax-free bung. In fact John revealed that not only was the construction of the airport overpriced, 1.15 billion Euros apparently disappeared in the pockets of officials, after a process of bidding for contracts that was “corrupt from start to finish”. We are obviously not surprised here at HellasFrappe because many of the contracts that were formulated by the then Minister Costas Laliotis -under the PASOK Simitis government- do not only have a stench of corruption attached to them but allowed the corrupt Greek oligarchs that have held our country hostage all these years rise to power! Read the article by clicking HERE)

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