EU judgment a further headache for Fehmarn tunnel project – The Post

EU judgment a further headache for Fehmarn tunnel project

The projected tunnel linking Denmark and Germany almost seems jinxed

Concerned about competition or just bad losers? (photo: News Øresund)
December 14th, 2018 11:42 am| by Stephen Gadd

In a judgment handed down yesterday, the European Court has ruled that the European Commission had been too hasty when it approved the Danish plan to finance the fixed link tunnel connection under the Fehmarn Belt.

The case was referred to the European Court in 2015 by the ferry company Scandlines, which at present runs ferries on the route between Denmark and Germany.

Distorting competition
Scandlines argued that the way the link was financed was distorting competition because the EU had given the Danish state permission to guarantee the 53 billion kroner loan that the state-owned company Femern needs to carry out the project, reports DR Nyheder.

READ ALSO: Fehmarn tunnel project encounters a new bump in the road

The state guarantee means the money can be borrowed at a low rate of interest.

In addition, the court also ordered the EU Commission to investigate whether the financing of the loan over 55 years is in line with competition regulations.

This means that the project will not be able to take advantage of a state-guaranteed loan until the commission’s investigation is completed. It may also mean yet more delays to the tunnel, which was originally planned to open in 2018 and has now been pushed back to 2028.