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Greece’s Privatization: Ministries “For Sale” – Furnished or Not?

 The buildings of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of Interior, of Justice and the building of the Greek Police Headquarters are the first assets of Athens that will be soon on the “Urgent – Greece for Sale”list. According to newspaper Imerisia, the buildings will be sold with the method of Sale and Lease Back. That is Greece will sale the buildings and pay rent to the new owners. Also top on the Greek government’s priority list of sales are buildings of tax offices, the one of Greek Statistic Authority, the General Secretariat of the Press, the Exhibition centre HELEXPO. The sales are allegedly to start within the next days.

The government has apparently opened the way for the sale of assets in Electricity Company DEH, Hellinikon old airport and so on…

Also other assets are for quick sale [and probably spot prices] as the privatization programme will come to effect after the suffocating pressure of the Troika” the newspaper writes and underlines “However despite the activation of the programme it is almost certain that the target revenues of €1.3 billion from privatizations until end of September will not be met.”

The Imerisia stresses also the fact the the delay of the privatizations came after resistance within the ruling party and raised a barrier to the procedures. 

According to Mid-Term Agreement with the Troika, Greece should privatize assets worth of 50 billion euro until 2015.

PS The term Sale and Lease back refers to a transaction where the owner sells one asset and leases it back for the long-term. That is Greece will most probably pay rent to use the buildings it had in its possession. How this will decrease the state expenditure is a miracle to me. I wonder, whether together with the building also the furniture and the personnel will be sold and it will turn out they are too expensive to be leased back… By the way a pity for the neo-classic building of the Foreign affairs Ministry….

PS I remember so well PM Papandreou proclaiming last May that “Greece will not sale an inch.”. Or something like that. Just got dizzy adding taxes, levies. and solidarity contributions…

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One comment

  1. Selling your ministry buildings and embassies is in fact not such a bad idea. Other countries have done it. They sold their expensive embassy buildings and rented in new buildings. Near the Kallimarmaro there is such a building with several embassies.
    It will safe the country a lot of money. Maintaining old buildings costs an enormous amount of money. And as soon as you need more or less civil servants you are stuck with the building. A rent is just that. Maintenance costs are paid by the owner and if your needs change you just move out to another building. Only danger here in Greece is that the stuff will be sold to the nephew of the sister of the koumbaros of the… and then rented back at totally crazy prizes.
    So, as chilling and horrible the thought to me is of having a Treuhand like thing here in Greece, it might just be necessary to break through this chain of collusion.