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Paris Partner Kathie Claret was quoted Jan. 28 by InfraNews concerning recent friction between the French toll-road network and the government. Almost a decade ago, the French government privatized more than 5,000 miles of highway concessions to infrastructure investors. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced recently that the networks’ tolls will not rise as planned on Feb. 1 of this year, but instead will be frozen pending the findings of a parliamentary working group. The government says the concessionaires are making excessive profits and allegedly are acting anti-competitively. While engaging in discussions with the government, which has identified renegotiation or termination of the concessions as alternative solutions, the concessionaires are considering litigation as the next course of action. Claret said the government has the right to modify an administrative contract in the general public interest provided this is in conformity with the financial equilibrium of such a contract. The concessionaires, she said, could seek indemnification if they can show disruption of the financial equilibrium of the contract. InfraNews is the leading provider of real-time intelligence for the European-focused infrastructure community.

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