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Bulgaria caretaker minister to propose scrapping Sofia Airport concession

Staff Writer |
Bulgaria’s caretaker Transport Minister Hristo Alexiev said that he would make a formal proposal asking the caretaker cabinet to cancel the ongoing concession tender for the Sofia Airport.

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Alexiev told reporters that the decision was based on an expert analysis that concluded that the concession terms were not “in the state’s interest”.

The upfront concession fee, of at least 550 million leva (about 281.2 million euro), would lead to an increase of annual airport fees of up to 25 million euro, which would result in reduced traffic at Bulgaria’s largest airport and increased plane ticket prices, Alexiev was quoted as saying.

The reason for the high fee is that the now-departed Boiko Borissov government intended to use the money raised through the concession to inject cash into the state railways BDZ, paying off its outstanding debt and upgrading some of its rolling stock. Alexiev said that he was opposed to the idea of using the airport concession fee to subsidise BDZ.

He said that his proposal was not an attempt to influence the electoral campaign – Bulgaria is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on March 26 and the Bulgarian Socialist Party has repeatedly asked for the concession to be cancelled.

Trade unions of airport employees have made similar demands.

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