Firesale privatization of Greek State Assets Raises Concerns for Future of Greece, accusations of Corruption

In order to repay its sovereign debts, the Greek government has placed everything from a police headquarters in Athens to leasing private beaches on the auction block to raise much-needed funds.  As part of its bailout of Greece, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)agreed on January 16 to release another $4.3 billion in recovery funds but the economy is still in decline.

For example, Afandou, an island off of Rhodes, could be yours for the low, low price of $85 million.

Among other items for sale include:

  • 35 government buildings
  • Greece’s holdings in southeastern Europe’s largest oil concern, Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE)
  • shares in Athens airport
  • the Hellenic Horse Racing company
  • the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP)
  • the rights to 39 regional airports and 12 seaports
  • the Greek lottery
  • the Hellenic Post.

Greeks are worried about the future of their government’s services given that it is placing police headquarters and even some buildings used for health and education for sale.

Already the Greek government has had some success, along with much criticism, with its privatization of many of its government holdings.

The Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE) was sold to privately held Piraeus Bank for $125 million in July of 2012 in a deal widely criticized as being rife with corruption.

Some analysts placed ATE’s real-estate holdings at $1 billion alone.

privatizations will continue nonetheless, as Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras vowed last year,

I’m going to bite iron to bring investors.

Hopefully it is not too late effort at too late a time.

 

[Global Post]