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Construction sector struggling in the middle of the coronavirus crisis

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The construction sector has been transformed into an extremely difficult riddle due to the spread of the coronavirus. The rigorous measures needed to curb the spread of the disease have created a very difficult environment for entrepreneurship and therefore for the construction industry. Last week, industry officials sent letters to the Gov’t with regard to measures intending to prevent the collapse of businesses as well as the protection of the workers.

It is reminded that the construction sector has not yet experienced the uplift that had started to become evident in other sectors in the country. The difficulty in generating public projects, the litigations, the problems related to  law 4412 and the still anemic building activity remain factors of concern.

One of the big issues that has been raised is the operation of the construction sites in the midst of the pandemic. There are voices calling for the total closure while others argue that they should remain open under strict rules. At a time when everything seems blurry, the existence of active construction sites is a matter of life or death for many technical companies.

One of the demands that has been put on the table this time and seems to be satisfying, is the pause of all public tenders and public contracts. These include the postponement of tenders, extensions to tenders’ deadlines, etc.

Now, there are official bodies such as PESEDE that call for a complete suspension and special provisions while they talk about staff being reluctant to show up at the sites.

Throughout this intense environment there are projects in progress with some of them being in the final stages of construction, such as the first 3 new stations of Athens Metro Line 3 that were due to be delivered in early summer. Other projects will also need extensions due to the current situation.

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However, there is a strong concern among the official bodies about the underfunction of the contracting authorities, referring to long delays to the flow of the funding.

April, which seems to be a crucial month for the construction, will essentially show whether we will go to new measures or the Legislative Act is enough to ensure the sector’s survival.

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