Tourism sale nets 175mln

The Greek government said yesterday it hopes to raise 175 million euros from the sell-off of tourism assets by the end of the year and attract 436.5 million euros from the private sector to help develop the facilities. «We want tourism bodies to help maximize assets belonging to ETA,» said Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos. ETA is the asset management arm of the Greek National Tourism Organization. Tsochadzopoulos said a series of tenders were finally bearing fruit, bringing to an end the first stage of a privatization drive for ETA. Of the 175 million euros projected for the state coffers this year, 90 million euros are from the sale of a 49 percent stake in the Mont Parnes casino on Mount Parnitha to a consortium made up of the Hyatt Regency Hotel and construction company Hellenic Technodomiki. The long-term lease of the marinas at Flisvos and Zea is projected to bring in 11.85 million euros. Agreements to this effect are expected to be signed this week. Negotiations regarding the marina at Alimos are due to continue. The renewal of the management contract for the Aphrodite Hotel in Vouliagmenis, together with that of Astir Hotel, will raise 15-17 million euros. A dividend payout of 57 million euros from ETA for the 2002 financial year brings the total to 175 million euros. The State is hoping the private sector will inject 436.5 million euros into upgrading the facilities, including the proposed conference center at the old Hellenikon airport, the planned theme park at Anavyssos and the golf course at Afantos on Rhodes. Tsochadzopoulos also confirmed the flotation of a 25 percent stake in ETA on the Athens stock market in the first half of 2003. The agency expects to post a pretax profit exceeding 34 million euros against turnover of more than 130 million euros for this year.

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