(Greece) – Greece is expected to conclude talks that will lead to an extension of a concession deal concerning the Athens airport. The talks are between the country of Greece and the shareholders of the airport in Athens, which is the country’s largest airport. According to Stergios Pitsiorlas, head of Greece’s privatization agency, talks are expected to be concluded by September. The negotiations are expected to extend the concessions deal by twenty years. The current deal will conclude in 2026, and under the new arrangement, it will end in 2046.
As part of the current bailout deal, which is Greece’s third bailout since the first one occurred in 2010, Greece promised to renew and extend an agreement with AviaAlliance, a German company, and Copelouzos, a Greek energy group. Under this agreement, both groups will continue to operate the major airport in Athens until the agreement expires in 2046. This arrangement is part of the bailout deal because the international creditors have said that the country of Greece needs to find a way to decrease government spending while increasing government revenue. This is just one of the many ways that the country has agreed to accomplish this.
Privatization deals are a major part of this third bailout. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, which is Greece privatization agency, was put in place to accomplish that. Other privatization deals have included Trainose, Greece’s railway operator, which was purchased by Italy’s railway operator, the abandoned Hellinikon Airport, and the port of Piraeus. Privatization deals have been fairly controversial as workers across the country have gone on strike periodically to make sure that they are able to maintain their jobs and salaries. Greece entered into this third bailout deal to receive aid that will enable it to pay off loan balances that are due to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.