BUSINESS

State property assets go on sale

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Privatizations, Property

The full ownership – and not just the management – of state properties, is being transferred to the Public Properties Company (ETAD) and through it to the planned Hellenic Holdings and Property Company (EESP). This concerns the vast majority of the state’s real estate assets, most of which were controlled by the Finance Ministry.

Article 196 of the multi-bill that will start to be debated in the Parliament’s plenary today provides for the new sell-off hyperfund to absorb ETAD as its 100 percent subsidiary and with it some 71,500 large and small properties, including 597 islands.

In a way, all this is to be used as collateral for the loans the country’s creditors have disbursed to Greece, given that the de facto supreme body of the new entity, its supervisory board, will be under the control of the European Commission and the European Stability Mechanism.

The list of 71,500 assets consists of those that ETAD already controls and those that will be transferred from the existing privatization fund (TAIPED), that will only hold on to 91 properties.

The assets to come under the control of the hyperfund include major tourism properties such as hotels, marinas, campsites, golf courses, ski centers and spas, as well as Olympic properties and tens of thousands of other popular sites such as the so-called Attica Riviera.

ETAD was founded in 1998 and absorbed Olympic Properties SA and the State Property Company in 2011. Last year it also absorbed Attica Coastline SA. To date it could only manage and utilize state properties, but the omnibus bill will now grant it ownership, too, “transferred to ETAD without a price,” so that EESP will be able to sell them later on.

Meanwhile the Hellenic Olympic Committee is threatening to sue the government regarding the possible sale of the Olympic Sports Center of Athens (OAKA) as it has been included in the entities to be transferred to the new fund. The HOC stressed on Friday that it is the owner of OAKA, so it is not state property.

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