New complications in completion of Patra Pyrgos road due to Kalogritsas
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport's decision to knock contractor Christos Kalogritsas out of contracts related to the Patras-Pyrgos highway is likely to cause yet another delay in the major construction project, as the ministry will have to seek out another contractor.
The reason Kalogritsas was removed was that he failed to meet a 10 June deadline for submitting two required letters of credit worth 1.4mn euros and 1.2mn euros, respectively.
Sources said that Kalogritsas was unable to receive letters of credit from Attica Bank and from the Public Works Engineers-Contractors Fund (TMEDE).
A government-friendly contractor
Critics have charged that the government - with the pretext of trying to break up an oligopoly of contractors who always were awarded public works - split up the project into several sub-tenders in order for Kalogritsas to land the contracts, so it could have "its own" contractors in major public works.
In 2016 Kalogritsas' company Toxotis Construction was awarded the first three sub-contracts.
Until then, market players said that Kalogritsas could only undertake small contracts because he lacked the funding for bigger projects, but that apparently was not an issue for the government.
However, the discounts that he offered the state were so huge that he was unable to complete the projects.
Television license fiasco
Kalogritsas first became known nationwide as the darling of the SYRIZA-led government in 2016 when he bid unsuccessfully with letters of credit from Attica Bank and dubious collateral in a tender for broadcast licenses.
At the time, it was widely reported that he had used borrowed money and three real estate properties including...