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12 Ports and 29 Airports to Be Privatised

The Fund for the Exploitation of State-owned Private Property (TAIPED), the new public agency tasked with enacting the Greek government’s privatization plans, has officially begun procedures to exploit a series of properties and infrastructure owned by the state’s property office. The Ministry of Finance’s predictions of interest from foreign investors are optimistic and initially concern three major packages.
The first package includes 29 of the country’s airports, for which the inter-ministerial commission has granted Taiped the rights to their use and administration, but also the right to use their infrastructure. As well as Thessaloniki’s Macedonia airport, Greek newspapers report that investors are also interested in airports with strategic importance for tourism, such as those on the major islands of Crete, Corfu, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Santorini, Lesbos and Chios. The second package concerns the development of 12 Greek ports, including Piraeus and Thessaloniki, for which the Greek government had originally agreed with representatives of the so-called troika to sell respective stakes of 23.1% and 23.3%, with further sales of shares of development rights by the end of the first quarter of 2012.
The third package, meanwhile, concerns the development of state-owned land. As well as the former Ellinikon International airport, which is no longer operational, on the south coast of Athens, the Ministry of Finances has informed investors of its intention to promote investments in the tourism sector through the development of around 70,000 plots of land suitable for building, the first of which will be available by the second quarter of 2012, the newspapers report.
The privatisation plan drafted by the Greek government with the objective of bringing 50 billion euros into the state’s coffers by 2015, also includes the sale of certain partly state-owned businesses, such as DEPA-DESFA (the natural gas company and the national authority for gas distribution), and 35% of Greece’s national oil company (ELPA), as well as the sale of 29% of the football betting company (OPAP), the horse-racing betting group (ODIE), the Casino of Parnithas, the defence systems production group (EAS) and the metal firm Larco.

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