Thursday October 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece prepares to lease 40 uninhabited islands

Skorpios is owned by the Onassis shipping heiress Athina Onassis.

By Sharon Smyth

Greece’s Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund has identified 40 uninhabited islands and islets that could be leased for as long as 50 years to reduce debt as pressure grows on the country to revive an asset-sales plan key to receiving international aid.

“We identified locations that have good terrain, are close to the mainland and have a well-developed infrastructure and, at the same time, pose no threat to national security,” Andreas Taprantzis, the fund’s executive director for real estate, said in a Sept 6. interview in Athens. “Current legislation doesn’t allow us to sell them outright and we don’t want to.”

The fund is charged with raising 50 billion euros from state assets by 2020 to meet conditions tied to pledges of 240 billion euros in foreign aid. As international inspectors in Athens scrutinize the country’s fitness to receive the latest aid payment, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said commercial exploitation of some islands could generate the revenue lenders need to see to continue funding the country.

The shortlist includes islands ranging in size from 500,000 square meters (5.4 million square feet) to 3 million square meters, and which can be developed into high-end integrated tourist resorts under leases lasting 30 years to 50 years, Taprantzis said.

The fund reviewed 562 of the estimated 6,000 islands and islets under Greek sovereignty. While some are already privately owned, such as Skorpios by the Onassis shipping heiress Athina Onassis, the state owns islands such as Fleves, which is near the coastal resort area of Vouliagmeni, and a cluster of three islands near Corfu. Taprantzis declined to name any of the islands.

Legislation needs to be passed to allow development of public property by third parties and reduce the number of building, environmental and zoning permits needed before the plan can proceed, Taprantzis said.

Outright sales have been ruled out because the returns for the Greek state wouldn’t be higher than a leasehold arrangement, he said. Greece will attract more investment if an island is turned into a resort, he said.

Selling public land outright is a politically sensitive issue in Greece. In 1996, Greece and Turkey almost went to war over who owned the uninhabited Aegean islet of Imia, known as Kardak in Turkey. A proposal by Greece’s lenders last year to increase revenue from asset sales including property drew opposition from then-premier George Papandreou, who said he’d legislate to prohibit such sales.

The country has only raised about 1.8 billion euros from its asset sales program, sparking criticism among European officials that the government isn’t moving quickly enough to reduce debt. Months of negotiations over the country’s debt restructuring earlier this year, the largest ever, and two general elections that threatened Greece’s membership of the euro area also held back progress on sales.

Takis Athanasopoulos, the fund’s new chairman, said the goal of generating 19 billion euros from state asset sales by 2015 can be met as long as Greece’s business environment is “appropriate.”

The fund will be able to gauge demand for Greek real estate as it revives a tender to develop a golf course on the island of Rhodes, Taprantzis said.

The fund chose six groups, which include London & Regional Group Holdings Ltd. and NCH Capital Inc., out of seven contenders to enter a second round of bidding for developing a strip of land on the island. A preferred bidder for the site measuring 1.85 million square meters, including an 18-hole golf course, is expected to be chosen by the end of February, the fund said yesterday.

“We are enthusiastic about the potential of this particular tender and what it reveals about market sentiment for Greek assets at this time,” Taprantzis said.

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday September 12, 2012 (10:10)  
European stocks decline as investors await ECB policy meeting
Attica Bank said to have rejected notable offers
PMI index slides anew in September
Costa Navarino to host big events
Court to hear Kasidiriaris-Kaneli case
An Athens court was scheduled to hear the case against Golden Dawn's Ilias Kasidiaris in connection to charges of attempted grievous bodily harm to Greek Community Party (KKE) MP Liana Kanel...
Terror group link prompts police raids and arrests
Police found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a handgun, a hand grenade and numerous bullets Wednesday while searching homes in Athens and Thessaloniki used by six people who were detained and a...
Inside News
SOCCER
Rosenberg punishes Olympiakos´s errors at Malmoe
A disappointing Olympiakos got the worst possible result from its clash with Malmoe in Sweden for the Champions League, going down 2-0 on Wednesday due to its own defensive errors and attack...
SOCCER
All team sports suspended next weekend in memory of dead fan
The government announced on Monday the suspension of all team sports events in Greece scheduled for next weekend, October 4 and 5, in the memory of the Ethnikos Piraeus fan who died a few ho...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
There´s money, still
The decision reached by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his deputy, Evangelos Venizelos, to seek a vote of confidence in Parliament on October 6, is a final attempt to restore order in th...
EDITORIAL
Confidence and corrections
The government must secure a vote of confidence in Parliament. Any other development would see the country enter very turbulent waters. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his cabinet must ag...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. European stocks decline as investors await ECB policy meeting
2. Court to hear Kasidiriaris-Kaneli case
3. Rosenberg punishes Olympiakos´s errors at Malmoe
4. Terror group link prompts police raids and arrests
5. Samaras to seek confidence vote in bid to rally coalition
6. Attica Bank said to have rejected notable offers
more news
Today
This Week
1. Court to hear Kasidiriaris-Kaneli case
2. European stocks decline as investors await ECB policy meeting
3. Air-raid sirens to go off all over Greece at 11 a.m. in drill
4. Mario Draghi to push ECB to buy Greek, Cypriot 'junk' loans: FT
5. Truth before the battle
6. Smallpox decimates sheep stocks in northern Greece
Today
This Week
1. Greece may opt for unusual president to avoid snap polls, Venizelos says
2. Woman allegedly buried alive by accident in northern Greece
3. Salaries in Greece continue to slide, dipping 1.4 pct in Q2
4. Should you bet with Kissinger on where the world is heading?
5. Cypriots divided by 1974 war seek Shariah hub
6. The shocking thought of euro-dollar parity
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.