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Acropolis in Athens: Tourism is an important driver of the Greek economy

Photo: Orestis Panagiotou / epa / dpa

In the coming year, Greece wants to raise more money than ever before through the sale of state property. More than five billion euros are to be raised, the head of the privatization agency HRADF, Dimitris Politis, told the Reuters news agency.

Since 2011, the eurozone has received around ten billion euros from the sale of state assets. Privatisation proceeds are a key element of the restructuring plan.

A total of three consecutive bailouts between 2010 and 2018 had saved Greece from bankruptcy and exit from the common euro currency. However, successive Greek governments were forced to implement painful budget cuts and tax increases, which led to an increase in unemployment and poverty.

German airport investor could benefit

Despite withdrawing from the bailout programme in 2018, Greece continued to be subject to increased surveillance for a long time. The country still had the highest public debt in the eurozone at the beginning of 2023.

The current plans envisage that the award of concessions for the Egnatia motorway will bring in a lot of money. This is a 658-kilometre-long toll road in the north of the country. 1.5 billion euros are to flow from this alone. Money is also expected to flow through a long-term concession for the Attica highway, a 70-kilometer bypass around Athens.

The sale of a 30 percent stake in Athens Airport is also planned as part of an IPO. This should take place as early as the first quarter of 2024 and could bring in more than 750 million euros, Politis said. The German-based airport investor and operator AviAlliance could acquire a further ten percent at a premium to the initial issue price. So far, he holds 40 percent.

According to Politis, the sale of a 2023 percent stake in the port of Lavrion, southeast of Athens, will also be initiated by the end of 67. Offers for marinas on the island of Corfu and the Gulf of Corinth are also to be obtained. Cruise lines have already expressed interest in Lavrion. Accounting for about a quarter of economic output, tourism is an important driver of the Greek economy.