Wednesday April 16, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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)  
IBM to open new center in Athens for big data analytics
Benefits to all single-parent families and new unemployed
Supermarket chains sense worst is yet to come
Cost of borrowing via T-bills drops to pre-bailout levels
PASOK plays down coalition row over scheme for homeless
PASOK remained tight-lipped on Monday about a row that broke out with its coalition partner, New Democracy, late on Monday after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced the creation of home...
Greece´s new public sector wage structure ready in September
A new wage structure for civil servants will be ready in September, Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday. The new scheme will contain financial incentives for p...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Defense lets Olympiakos down at Madrid
Olympiakos played second fiddle to Real Madrid in a rather spectacular game in Spain on Tuesday going down 88-71 to trail 1-0 in the best-of-five quarterfinal series with the Spanish giant. ...
SOCCER
Apollon is relegated, Xanthi to face survival play-off
Apollon followed Aris to the second division and Xanthi will contest a relegation play-off, as the end of the regular season of the Super League on Sunday produced predictable results that a...
Inside Sports
EDITORIAL
Fundamental contradictions
The deep division running through the ranks of the country’s main opposition party regarding the euro and how Greece’s negotiations with its partners and creditors ought to be carried out is...
COMMENTARY
Empty vessels
US satirist and journalist Patrick Jake O’Rourke once said about American politics, “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Defense lets Olympiakos down at Madrid
2. IBM to open new center in Athens for big data analytics
3. Benefits to all single-parent families and new unemployed
4. Supermarket chains sense worst is yet to come
5. Cost of borrowing via T-bills drops to pre-bailout levels
6. Eurobank reaps major investor interest
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists
2. GD lawmaker hails Hitler, condemns homosexuality in interview
3. Suspected smuggler dies after trying to ram Coast Guard vessel off Kos
4. New Democracy to confirm list of candidates for Euro elections
5. Greek far right fires up Athens election campaign
6. Anchor investors bid for chunk of Greek Eurobank's share offer
Today
This Week
1. Bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece
2. Time to take a hard look at debt sustainability, says OECD chief
3. For faith and country
4. CCTV footage from Nigrita Prison shows signs of inmate torture [Video]
5. Samaras sees no need for third bailout
6. Car bomb explodes outside Greek Central Bank building, no one hurt [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.