Greece sells 14 airports in privatisation drive

Greece's leftist government on Monday signed its first big privatisation deal with German airport operator Fraport, awarding it a 1.2 billion euro contract to lease and manage 14 regional airports.
Greece's leftist government on Monday signed its first big privatisation deal with German airport operator Fraport, awarding it a 1.2 billion euro contract to lease and manage 14 regional airports. PHOTO: REUTERS

ATHENS (AFP) - Greece said on Monday (Dec 14) it agreed to sell 14 regional airports to a German operator, the first major privatisation move for the country's left-wing government.

The Greek privatisation agency said it was selling the airports to German airport operator Fraport for 1.2 billion euros (S$1.9 billion).

The deal includes the airports of Thessaloniki, Greece's second-biggest city, and those of island tourist hotspots Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu, the agency said in a statement.

The deal showed that Greece is "regaining the markets' confidence step by step and re-embarking on the path of growth," agency chief Stergios Pitsiorlas said.

Greece in July accepted a three-year, 86-billion-euro EU bailout that saved it from crashing out of the eurozone, but the deal came with strict conditions.

They include an ambitious privatisation programme, featuring the planned sale of ports, airports and other state assets.

Parliament is to vote on Tuesday on the modalities of a partial privatisation of the Admie electricity utility, 49 percent of which is to go into private hands.