Chicu accused the authorities of intending to give airport premises to Lagardere without a tender

The French company Lagardere can take possession of commercial space at the airport without a tender. At least, this is what former Prime Minister Ion Chicu claims, referring to a government decree that envisages changing the conditions for organizing a tender so that if only one participant applies, it will not be held, but instead direct negotiations with a potential investor.

In a post on his Telegram page, Chicu states that “to be able to offer to the French, ‘seduced by Maia,’ the commercial areas of Chisinau International Airport without holding a real tender,” PAS amended PP 483/2008 on the approval of the Regulation on the procedure of renting out unused assets.

“Thus, they introduced a new paragraph 13/1 indicating that if only one bidder is registered, the Tender Commission will extend the deadline for submitting bids for participation for at least 15 days. If no further additional bids are submitted, the Tender Commission has the right to proceed to a SINGLE BIDDER TRADE with the sole bidder. In other words, the tender turns into a farce,” Ion Chicu writes in his post.

“All these actions fall under the signs of a serious crime committed by an organized criminal group and are aimed at causing material damage to the state in extremely large amounts,” according to him.

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On March 25, the Public Property Agency (PPA) extended for the second time in a row the deadline for submitting applications for participation in the tender for the lease of commercial space at the airport after only the French company Lagardere applied. It followed a previous unsuccessful first tender, which another company submitted at the last minute.

On the third attempt, the Tender Commission decided to extend the deadline for bids until April 15, 2024, with the tender itself expected to take place on April 17, when the winner will be announced.

The scandal surrounding this tender is based on the fact that several observers note that, in this case, the conditions of participation in the tender are in line with Lagardere’s parameters and are drafted in such a way that no other company can be allowed to participate, which means that the authorities intend to rig the results of the tender.

Chisinau International Airport and the Public Property Agency are auctioning the premises where duty-free stores controlled by Ilan Shor used to be located. According to the information, the starting monthly rent for ten places is 157 thousand euros. The amount of rent is set for traffic of 2.8 million passengers, and with each increase of 100 thousand passengers, the annual rent for a calendar year will increase by 2% annually. In the event of a decrease in passenger traffic, the rent will remain unchanged.

In September 2023, the duty-free regime at the airport was abolished, the changes in VAT and excise department for duty-free stores came into effect accordingly, and the lease agreements expired at the end of 2023.

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