ECONOMY

State property companies to merge

The government has decided to revert to its old plan of merging the state’s three property companies into one. The new company, which will take in the Greek Public Real Estate Corporation (KED), Olympic Properties and the Tourism Development Company (ETA), will manage all of their properties with the exception of a series of tourism assets that ETA manages, whose administration will return to the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO). Tourism sources suggested that the management of casinos, campsites, Xenia hotels, spas, the Parnassos Ski Center, the Hellenikon Exhibition Center and plots with a potential for tourism development will revert to the GNTO, which has always kept their ownership. The final decision on the plan for the unification of the three state property companies will now be taken by the Ministerial Privatization Committee. ETA has a management portfolio of 371 assets covering some 70 square kilometers across Greece. The public tourism property it now manages amounts to about 1.2 billion euros, as far as rights are concerned. At present there are a number of ongoing tenders for the utilization of ETA-administered assets, such as the Corfu casino, the Xenia hotels on Thasos, at Vytina, Tsangarada and on Skiathos, and plots on the Halkidiki peninsula, Mt Pelion and at Anavyssos in eastern Attica, as well as the land of the golf course of Afandou on Rhodes.