The rather surprising and definitely unseemly post by 49-year-old banker Nat Rothschild on Twitter in mid-July against Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in which he called him “foolish,” has turned attention to the intense reactions over the investment by NCH Capital at Erimitis, in the area of Kassiopi on the Ionian island of Corfu. This is an investment that is finally being implemented after eights long years since the privatization project started.
“Environmentally Erimitis is a total disaster, it takes Corfu back to 1970s style mass development and adds zero to the local economy. Mitsotakis is foolish to champion this project,” Rothschild said of the project on Twitter.
Of course, being interested in something that will be built in the vicinity of a property of his own is expected and justified. Rothschild has a holiday villa just 2.9 kilometers from the privatized plot. However, calling a prime minister “foolish” in public because he champions an investment that five other governments before him have also supported and the country’s top courts have approved with repeated decisions, is out of the usual order for criticism, especially by people with his social and financial status.
Interestingly Nat Rothschild is not the only major businessman to feel that his property and the privacy of his villa will be damaged by the development. At least three more wealthy individuals with land in the area are seen to have campaigned for canceling the investment in a hotel complex and a few dozen holiday homes.
Among those businessmen is said to be a top official of a major investment fund positioned in Greek assets, the head of a German group who even sent a letter to the Development Ministry for canceling the Kassiopi project, and another investor with a senior office in a Greek-listed firm.
Some sources suggest that the Rothschild family is even trying to ensure there will be no development across the sea, on the Albanian coast, 1.4 nautical miles off Corfu. This explains its support for the Butrint Foundation, which is dedicated to the protection of the ancient site and opposes plans for the tourism development of that area too.