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The country’s construction sites remain operational during the coronavirus crisis

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The majority of the infrastructure world welcomed the first steps taken by the Gov’t and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport through the recent Legislative Act to pause all tenders, deadlines for projects and concessions. At the same time there is a “battle” to keep the construction sites alive as there is a debate about it.

Sources from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport note at ypodomes.com that there is no intention to close for the closure of the construction sites at this time. It is obvious that the construction sites are for the technical sector of the country, what industries are for the market, i.e. its lifeline and driving force.

“We need to keep the economy running”, says the Chairman of HCIC, Mr. Stergios Lampropoulos, at ypodomes.com, adding that “there are difficulties in the operation of the businesses because of the situation”.

Mr. Lambropoulos welcomes these first steps taken with the Legislative Act but points out that more are needed. “This is a common struggle, we will try to contribute with suggestions and there will be further meetings with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in order to do even more”.

The Chairman of HCIC, however, stresses that even in these difficult times, the Ministry should not halt its efforts for legislative interventions and continue preparing for new project packages that will help the economy of the entire country.

Measures taken towards the correct direction

Market players are at the same wavelength. They agree that the measures are in the right direction and show that the preparations for the aftermath of the crisis must run from now.

As they note, it is a positive signal for the industry to pause the tenders and projects but at the same time express the view that longer-term measures will soon be needed.

On the subject of the construction sites’ operation they are definite: “It is absurd to discuss a general closure of the sites, while warehouses, offices, call centers, and other indoor professions, still operate.

The point is to maintain works on the construction sites otherwise the whole industry will collapse. In this case we are talking about outdoor labour, often in vast areas. As long as strict security measures are in place, the same as in other working spaces, this conversation is senseless”, they said at ypodomes.com.

Again, there is also a remark by the market that there should already be a planning on how the economy can recover on the next day. Indeed, as they say, “it is a golden opportunity to push Europe in order to unblock big projects, mature studies and not waste precious time”.

For its part, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport seems to have assessed the situation and to work according to the developments. As a senior official at the Ministry reveals, “We thought that with this extension, we will win 2 months, now every contractor will evaluate whether to close the construction sites or not. Depending on the course of the crisis, we will take additional measures”.

The Ministry’s initiatives

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, according to secure information of ypodomes.com, is working in conjunction with other Ministries to enable payments from management authorities for NSRF-funded projects, while working on a set of companies’ relief measures.

The most important of these are the issuance of a greek Gov’t-backed loan, the suspension of insurance contributions for companies that are not yet included in the affected categories, the ability to settle and deduct directly for insurance and tax debts digitally, etc.

In terms of planning, according to the same information, the Ministry elaborates on multiple fronts in order to be able to run projects and studies and prepare the ground for the post-crisis period.

The difficult environment which the country and the global community are experiencing, it is clear that projects and construction will play a critical role for the rebuilding of the economy.

 

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