Investors anxious for approval of fast-track projects

Sportsland SA, owned by two of Greece’s most active entrepreneurs in tourism-related business – Theodoros Vassilakis and Achilleas Konstantakopoulos – is one of a number of firms to have submitted specific business plans and are still waiting for them to be processed by the Ministerial Committee for Strategic Investments (DESE).

The investment being planned by Sportsland is worth 123 million euros and concerns the creation of a holiday village in Asopia, in the prefecture of Viotia, some 75 kilometers northwest of Athens. It includes the construction of holiday rentals, a hotel, sports facilities including a golf course and a conference center.

Sportsland submitted an application for its investment plan to become eligible under the provisions of a rapid licensing system known as the fast-track process, aimed at facilitating investment. Although the new government has not announced any changes to the law on the fast-track process, investors are growing anxious, and especially those whose applications have yet to be examined by DESE.

Set up in 2008, Sportsland is 50-50 owned by Autohellas of the Vassilakis group and Konstantakopoulos. By end-2013 the company owned 3.24 square kilometers of farmland at Asopia and is said to have pondered the option of acquiring more land in the region last year. The firm’s share capital came to 12.1 million euros in end-2014.

Four more investment plans have been submitted to DESE for the fast-track process but the committee has yet to convene to examine them. They are:

* The construction and operation by Consortium Solar Power Systems of nine photovoltaic parks in Central Greece with a total capacity of 470 megawatts and a budget of 384 million euros. Sources say that this investment includes both Greek and foreign funds.

* A tourism investment on the Aegean island of Chios by Keramia SA, with a budget of 150 million euros. The plan provides for the creation of a five-star hotel with 700 beds.

* The creation of a fuel terminal station in southern Crete by Dutch-owned Royal Vopak NV, budgeted at some 500 million euros.

* A tourism investment on the Ionian island of Ithaca by the Agyia firm, providing for the creation of a luxury resort named “Ithaca Resort” and featuring five-star hotels, a golf course and a marina.