Chicu: I Wouldn’t Have Cancelled the Airport Concession if I Had Known What Would Happen Next

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Former Prime Minister Ion Chicu is outraged by the authorities’ decision to concession the Chisinau International Airport again and regrets having initiated the procedure to return the facility to state management. Moreover, he is angered by the fact that the government alienates only those areas and services that generate profit and not the elements of infrastructure that require investment. “If we had known at the time that Spinu would try to concession the airport again in a much more dubious way than before, we certainly wouldn’t have started the procedure to cancel the concession agreement then. The main problem is that if in 2013 the entire airport was given in concession, today they want to hand over to their associates only commercial premises, which bring huge profits. And the infrastructure elements, which require huge sums of money for maintenance and development, remain at the expense of the state,” Ion Chicu wrote. Thus, the former prime minister believes that according to the judgement of the Supreme Court of Justice, which brought victory to the government, Moldova actually lost. "I am forced to state that because of Maia Sandu’s minions, who give the most attractive airport assets in concession to a “serious” company (registered a few months ago in a dormitory room in Buiucani), the state today does not have a benefit (according to the Supreme Court of Justice decision), it has essentially lost,” Ion Chicu added. Earlier this year, the Public Property Agency announced the auctioning of the airport’s green zone and duty-free premises. However, a number of opposition representatives, as well as opinion leaders, pointed out the fact that in this case a certain company is clearly favored, since the conditions of participation, stipulated in the specification, exactly match its characteristics. It is a subsidiary of the French company Lagardere Travel Retail, registered in Moldova on 9 November 2023, shortly before the announcement of the tender. Previously, the media has reported that the French company Lagardere is under investigation by the Romanian prosecutor’s office due to winning the tender for the lease of commercial premises at Otopeni Airport. Only Lagardere was allowed to participate in the auction, other competitors were eliminated at the application stage. Whether someone favored it or not will be decided by the court.