Building Highway E65

Challenge

The construction of the southern section of the Central Greece motorway will improve the transport links for Greek citizens in the region, in line with EU transport policy objectives… Our decision today will allow the Greek government to support the building of this important new stretch of motorway.
Margrethe Vestager- EU Commissioner for Competition

Alber & Geiger was retained by Terna, one of the leading construction companies in Greece, who was awarded the contract to construct and operate the Greek part of the 4,400km Central Motorway (E65) connecting Malmö in Sweden to Chania in Greece. With only one section of the Greek part completed since the award of the tender in 2007, Terna relied on our support to get the approval for the southern section of the motorway that had been pending for years under the European Commission’s State aid rules.

Strategy

Alber & Geiger targeted key officials in different Directorates of the European Commission to overcome the impasse on the State aid clearance. Alber & Geiger worked in tandem with Members of the European Parliament to gain support for the completion of the remaining parts of the E65 motorway.
We attached language that emphasised the strategic European dimension of that North-South axis through the EU, an EU project that actually had been planned for decades. We also pointed out the contribution of the E65 motorway to competition and regional development. Moreover, we focused on the E65’s strategic importance for Greece, the South-East Europe region and the European transport road network, as well as its positive impact on jobs, tourism and investment.

Results

Our ability to combine legal, economic, social and political arguments ensured that on 19 October 2018, the European Commission cleared the funding – under EU State aid rules – for the construction of the southern part of the E65 motorway.