Hellinikon SA chief argues for urgency

Spyros Pollalis, CEO of Hellinikon SA, a special-purpose vehicle for the development of the former Athens airport of Elliniko, wants the process of bidding by the nine interested suitors to be sped up.

In this way, he argues, the government will know the bidders? real intentions, and if the bids are not satisfactory, the process should be terminated.

?The expression of interest by nine groups, despite the difficult conditions, is proof of what a good investment Elliniko is… difficult to find in any other Mediterranean capital,? Pollalis told Kathimerini. ?We should now be concerned about how to optimize our position, how to secure an immediate inflow of revenues to reduce the debt, long-term revenue inflows to ensure the growth of capital values, and, finally, how to achieve a model development that will provide Athens with an oasis and increase its competitiveness as a destination.?

?We must not relax our sense of urgency. The expression of interest by nine investors is non-binding. Hellinikon SA is trying to improve their bids and retain them to the end of the process, as the sharper the competition, the better the final offer will be. I therefore believe that the submission of binding bids must be brought forward (E.N., before next winter),? Pollalis argues.

?By common sense, if the bids are not satisfactory the tender should be terminated. We are now mulling alternative scenarios to cover any eventuality,? he said.

Pollalis considers it self-evident that the government must retain a stake in Hellinikon SA to reap capital values.

?Elliniko must function as a development lever; there is no sense in selling it as a simple piece of land. We know we cannot tell the investor how to utilize it but we have given the general directions and we must be concerned how to secure the best possible solution in the long term.?