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03.12.2012 < BACK
Greece Selling Government Buildings To Generate Revenue
Greece is finding it increasingly hard to attract international investors to keep up with the conditions that surround its bailout. The privatisation program of the debt-inflicted country is being expanded to sell state assets quickly. The HRADF – the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (the country’s state fund) now possesses over 70,000 properties owned by the state and these properties are on sale as Greece has turned to foreign investment to generate nineteen billion Euros by 2015 through their sales.

The state-owned properties comprise of a 119,800 sq. m peninsula with a marina and a Palace hotel complex, a 450,000 sq. m area in Rhodes which has a golf course with eighteen holes and the Corfu coastline with four miles of beach, which is Athens airport area and the Olympics broadcast centre for Athens 2004. Land areas are not all that Greece is offering to international lenders. The country’s government buildings are also up for sale in efforts to generate revenues that will help ease the financial pressure on Greece.
Areas up for sale in Greece

The ministries of health, justice, culture and education in Greece are looking to make a few of their buildings available for rent. Although the nation has done well to cope with extensive tax evasion, thirteen of the country’s tax offices have also been put up on the market for privatisation. The first week of October 2012 saw Greece lease the International Broadcast Centre, which was widely used during the Olympic Games in 2004, to Lamda – a development group, thereby completing the country’s first privatisation deal. The 73,000 sq. ft. area will be leased to the group for ninety years, and the value of the deal is estimated to be around 81 million Euros – a price considered “fair” by Lamda Development’s CEO Odisseas Athanassiou.

Athanassiou was quick to reject rumours suggesting that the deal was made in order to please the country’s international lenders, and declared that the financial sense made by the deal would help the nation a great deal. The Equity Group Investments chairman, Sam Zell, however said that similar properties would cost much lesser in the United States.
Privatisation program expected to breathe new life into Greece

The launch of a privatisation program has been delayed several times in the past as a result of Greece’s political uncertainty. However, the country is now ready to compromise for all the time it has wasted. Funds are getting hard to come by, as the nation’s privatisation fund has been able to raise only about one tenth of the amount it initially targeted. Investors are sceptical about spending their money on Greece’s state assets as they are still not confident in the economy. They are also worried about further devaluation of these assets, especially if Greece was asked to leave the Eurozone.

Athanassiou believes that the program is the nation’s final chance to become a successful one again. He also thinks that the government is not fully exploiting the potential of its energy industries and tourism. He said that there are a large number of opportunities and resources that the state can still make the most of.