Greece seeks investors for small ports and marinas

An interministerial committee gave the green light on Monday to the country?s privatization fund to issue concessions to investors to run 23 small ports and marinas around the country, as part of the coalition?s drive to increase revenues.

The right to issue tenders for these ports passed to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED), the Finance Ministry said. Ports in Zakynthos, Katakolo and Argostoli are in the cluster of assets, which also includes marinas in the southern Athens suburb of Glyfada and on a number of islands and resorts. The operation of the small ports and marinas will continue as normal until investors are found.

The Finance Ministry?s decision drew strong criticism from the Communist Party. ?If the people do not obstruct them, this government and the European Union are capable of handing over to the shipping tycoons and big businessmen not just the rights to ports but to the sea itself,? KKE said in a statement.

Last month the Thessaloniki Port Authority, which operates Greece?s second-biggest port, invited two investors, Lamda Development and Aktor, to submit binding bids in a tender to build and operate an 11.3-million-euro marina.

The 218-berth marina will take about three years to build. The concession to run the facility will be for at least 30 years and will help to boost tourism as well as recreational and cultural activities at the port, according to the port company.

The same government privatizations committee on Friday approved the sale of state stakes in ELTA, the country?s postal service, and Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO). TAIPED will decide on the sale process for as much as 100 percent the state owns in ELTA. Postal workers oppose the sale.