(Greece) – Greece is making plans to privatize the Egnatia Toll Road, which is a major road that links the Igoumenitsa port that is located in Eastern Greece and the Greek-Turkish border that is located on the western side of Greece. The road is considered to be a major trade route in the Balkans as a whole. It is also the latest government asset that is on the list for privatization. According to the HRADF, the privatization agency in Greece, Greece will be asking for bids for a long-term lease of the major toll road. This is one of the moves that the international creditors have required in order to unlock the next wave of funds for the country’s third bailout program.
According to the creditors, Greece will need to sell the rights to the Egnatia Toll Road that spands through 670 kilometers of the country. The long-term lease will span a period of 35 years. Selling the rights to the road are a condition for receiving the 2.8 billion euros worth of rescue funds. Total, the bailout is expected to reach 86 billion euros. To unlock each wave of funds, however, the country needs to meet a series of conditions. For this second wave of funds, privatizing the road is a requirement.
According to an anonymous source, The decision was taken today by (HRADF’s) board. The launch of the tender and the timetable will be announced by Sept. 30.” However, it is unclear how much money the Greek government expects to raise through the privatization of this road.
Greece has been in a recession since around 2009 and the country received its first bailout in 2010. The third bailout was originally approved in June of 2016. The first wave of funds came shortly after that and the money was needed to pay loan balances to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The third bailout is under review again in order to assess if Greece is eligible for the next wave of payments. Once the country meets all the conditions, they’ll receive the funds.