New motorway? Take it or leave it

Topical issue

New motorway? Take it or leave it

17. 05. 2017 15:37

Parliament has Okayed the construction of motorways on non-state owned properties. This express change was tailor-made by Transport Minister Arpad Érsek in order to solve problems with the construction of the Bratislava bypass.

A year after signing the contract with construction companies, the state does not own all the land necessary for starting construction works. Minister Érsek complained about a few speculating private entities that are blocking the project. According to him, they are requesting approximately €30 million more from the state. The new law stipulates it is possible to start the construction already during the process of expropriating the property. The private owner would be compensated by partial rent. Minister Érsek:

"We have found this solution which is against those with whom we have not been able to agree."

The opposition finds the new law in violation of the Constitution and it sees the fear of paying a fine for procrastination as the main reason behind these coalition steps. Opposition MP Ján Marosz.

"The costs could reach up to €200 million. This huge fine is the true reason why we have passed this law."

Whether the state will have to pay the fine will become clear in two years' time, after the motorway construction has been completed. The Transport Minister believes that there will be no delays.

"We act in order to keep the concessionary and to avoid the fine."

The opposition wants to halt the new law through the Constitutional Court, which found a similar wording back in 2011 as being unconstitutional.

The state has paid approximately €310 million to buy 99.5 percent of the land needed for the bypass in 11,000 contracts so far. The remaining owners want roughly €55 million for their plots of land.

Martina Šimkovičová, Photo: TASR

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