The new, revised program for TAIPED privatizations, published on Friday, contains no references as to when the long-delayed development of the old Athens airport plot at Elliniko in southern Athens might finally start. The other major issue for the state sell-off fund is highway maintenance company Egnatia Odos SA, which is currently mired in red tape.
TAIPED’s Asset Development Plan (ADP), which the government has approved, shows clearly that besides Elliniko and Egnatia, there are the projects for the 10 regional ports, the marinas and a number of small, minor ports that are also facing delays. The utilization of energy assets is falling further behind schedule, as is the concession of significant real estate assets, such as the Gournes plot in Iraklio, Crete, which is expected to be turned into a hotel, and the Thermopylae spa, among others.
On the positive side, the 20-year extension of the Athens airport concession is expected to be completed this week, while the financial transactions for the concession of two properties at Afandou on Rhodes are just about wrapped up and the sale railway carriage maintenance company Rosco appears to be in the bag. These projects are all expected to be completed by the end of this quarter, although they were originally supposed to be finished last year.
The biggest problems are always with Elliniko and Egnatia. There is no mention of the date for the completion of the financial transaction for Elliniko either. The 2019 budget, voted in December, provided for the financial transaction to be completed in the last quarter of the year. The ADP, which is much more recent, does not confirm that.
As to when the Elliniko casino permit will be put up for sale – a necessary condition for the development – that is anybody’s guess. The project also requires progress on the matter of town planning issues, including the signing of ministerial decisions on the property and the necessary public consultation, a process that will take months.
Egnatia Odos is suffering due to backtracking and fresh obstacles raised by the Infrastructure Ministry. The new ADP means minister Christos Spirtzis will have to amend the transfer invitation for Egnatia Odos SA staff and sign the decision for the launch of the toll stations at Asprovalta and Oraiocastro, which remain pending.