Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
In the shadow of the Acropolis

By Nikos Xydakis

The recent inclusion of 19 properties owned by the Ministry of Culture in the portfolio of TAIPED, the fund overseeing the sale and privatization of state assets, is clearly part of new policy to speed up the sell-offs and generate cash in order to pay the countryís debts to its creditors on time. The same logic of expediency saw the large plot that was once home to Athensís old international airport on the southern coast at Elliniko being taken away from the organization that was in charge of managing it and also placed in the portfolio of TAIPED, which is now speedily ceding it to the only buyer to have expressed an interest.

The rush to sell these assets, which is not accompanied by any kind of joint strategy between the state and the investors as to how they will be developed, raises serious questions regarding their true value and whether they are being purposely sold on the cheap in order to speed up the privatization process.

More questions are being raised in the case of the buildings in the historical center of Plaka that have been handed over to TAIPED, the most important being whether Greeceís national and historical capital is being sold short and whether the government is serving special interests of its own in doing so.

The area around the Acropolis comprising the Plaka and Anafiotika districts has been listed by UNESCO as a buffer zone around one, if not the most significant monuments of world heritage. The Ministry of Culture acquired these 19 properties by appropriation for this precise purpose. The entire area is extremely important from an archaeological perspective, but also has an incalculable symbolic value for the modern Greek state. Greeceís first modern university and the residences of many important figures of the newly founded Greek state were built there, on the slopes of the Acropolis.

The area, of course, has always attracted interested buyers, usually very wealthy individuals, and especially after the historic center of old Athens was significantly improved by ministers such as Antonis Tritsis and Stefanos Manos, but also Melina Mercouri, who was responsible for the appropriation of sites around the ancient citadel that were of archaeological interest.

Does the decision to place the Culture Ministryís 19 properties mean that the buffer zone around the Acropolis is being put up for sale? Will the outrageous proposal put forward by German magazine Bild suggesting that Greece should sell or rent its islands to cut its debt come to pass? If so, then consider this: The Culture Ministryís real estate portfolio contains 220 state-owned buildings in Plaka, 68 in Anafiotika, 108 in Akadimia Platonos, the site of Platoís Academy, 40 around the Ancient Cemetery of Kerameikos and 355 in the Medieval City of Rhodes.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday March 15, 2014 (17:22)  
End of reason, end of humanity
Banks need to step up
Tension for tensionís sake?
Testing ground
Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
Authorities began on Saturday assessing the damage done by flash floods in various parts of Athens a day earlier, with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledging that all those affected would b...
No court hearings for civil cases
Greek courts are to stop conducting hearings, which include witness questioning, for civil cases, according to plans drawn up by the Justice Ministry. Kathimerini understands that in a bid t...
Inside News
Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Economic reforms in Cyprus are starting to yield results, the government said on Saturday after one credit-rating agency upgraded its rating and a second its outlook for the bailed-out count...
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
†RECENT NEWS
1. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. No court hearings for civil cases
4. Greeceís lenders seem adamant that govít must act on bailout commitments
5. Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
6. Policeman admits to murder of his cousin-in-law
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Banks need to step up
3. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
4. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
5. Greeceís lenders seem adamant that govít must act on bailout commitments
6. No court hearings for civil cases
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greeceís closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
†††Find us ...
††... on
Twitter
†† ††... on Facebook ††
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.