Greece approves deal for German firm to run 14 regional airports
ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoThe Greek government on Aug. 18 approved a 1.23 billion euro ($1.36 billion) deal for Germany's Fraport-Slentel consortium to run 14 regional airports, publishing the decision in its official gazette.
The concessions, ranging in duration from 40 to 50 years, had been approved by the previous Greek government but were put on hold after the far-left Syriza party of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power in January.
It is the first privatisation announced since eurozone ministers approved on Friday a massive new bailout for debt-laden Greece.
Tuesday's gazette published a decree indicating that the government "approves" privatisation agency Taiped's decision to award the concessions to Fraport along with a leasing agreement totalling 22.9 million euros a year.
In November, Fraport had issued a statement saying it had won a "privatisation offer" for the airports, which include key tourist hubs such as Thessaloniki, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos and Santorini.
There was no immediate comment from Fraport.
The Tsipras government has agreed the privatations of public assets as part of the deal reached its international creditors to win a new bailout worth 86 billion euros, approved by parliament on Friday.
The creditors demanded the creation of a 50 billion euro privatisation fund -- notably concerning ports, airports and railways -- to be managed by Athens but supervised by the international institutions.
Hardline Syriza dissidents reacted angrily to the airport concession announcment, saying it was the first step towards "a general sale of Greece".