Greece ‘to miss 2015 privatization sales target’

Greece ‘to miss 2015 privatization sales target’

ATHENS - Reuters
Greece ‘to miss 2015 privatization sales target’

AFP photo

Greece will miss its revenue target from asset sales this year due to delays in a 1.2 billion euro airport deal, the head of its privatization agency said on Sept. 2, in a setback to efforts to meet the terms of its new bailout.

As part of its commitments under the 86 billion euro ($97 billion) rescue loan from international creditors, Greece aims to raise 1.4 billion euros from privatizations this year.

It has a patchy record of meeting such targets, and Stergios Pitsiorlas said reaching the 2015 figure was also now “unfeasible”.

“On the other hand, I think it is realistic that we achieve the 2016 targets,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Greece aims to cash in 3.7 billion euros from asset sales next year and 1.3 billion euros in 2017.

At the end of last year it chose Germany’s Fraport and its Greek partner, energy firm Copelouzos, as the preferred bidder to operate 14 regional airports in tourist destinations -one of the biggest privatizations since the start of the debt crisis in 2009.

But the agreement, along with others including the sale of 67 percent in its biggest ports, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, was halted soon after the leftist Syriza-led government came to power in January.

Although the sales are now back on track, Greece may not conclude the airport transaction on time to receive the 1.2 billion euros from the deal by December, Pitsiorlas said.

“By the end of 2015, HRADF will implement a very important part of the first phase of this program but the 1.4 billion euro (revenue target) is unfeasible,” Pitsiorlas said.