“Tidbit” is Athens International Airport

Handelsblatt on the ambitious privatization program of the Mitsotakis government.

The state privatization program of the Mitsotakis government, which aims to invest about 2.44 billion euros in public funds by 2020, is given a comprehensive analysis of the financial activities of Handelsblatt.

The “tidbit” of the privatization program this year is the sale of 30% of the Athens International Airport […]. The block of shares could bring in more than one billion euros. Sales plans bring mobility to the Greek privatization program. The reform package stipulates that the Greek government should implement it in exchange for international financial assistance. Until recently, the program was stigmatized by broken promises and failures. After the outbreak of the debt crisis in Greece, the then social democratic government promised creditors in 2011 up to 50 billion euros in profit from privatization in just five years. A completely utopian goal. In fact, by the end of 2015, only 3.2 billion euros had been added to the country’s budget. Meanwhile, the profit amounted to 6.9 billion euros.

Privatization ran into legal and bureaucratic obstacles on the one hand, and most investors avoided Greece during the crisis. But there was also no political will. Politicians of all parties reluctantly transferred control of state-owned enterprises. For decades, these companies have helped supply party customers with profitable locations. Mitsotakis wants to break this tradition. This is facilitated by the fact that in the meantime, investor interest has woken up, and confidence in the political stability of Greece and its economic future is returning. For a block of shares in Athens International Airport, the Municipal Property Assessment Fund immediately received 10 applications. ”

Citing the planned privatization of the State Gas Company (DEPA), regional ports such as Alexandroupolis, and the Egnatia motorway concession, the newspaper commented: “Mitsotakis is not speeding up privatization solely because of expected profits intended to ease the debt burden. The Prime Minister hopes that this will also strengthen his position in connection with the upcoming negotiations with institutions to ease budgetary requirements. ”