Greece has agreed to sell rights to operate 14 regional airports to the German company Fraport. The deal is the first in a wave of privatizations the Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras had until recently opposed but needs to make to qualify for bailout loans.
The decision, which was published in the government gazette overnight Monday to Tuesday, would hand over the airports, including several on popular tourist island destinations, to Fraport AG, which runs Frankfurt Airport among others across the world.
Airports in Thessaloniki, Aktion, Chania, Corfu, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kos, Mytilene, Mykonos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, and Zakynthos are those that will be taken over by the German company.
The deal is worth €1.23 billion as well as €22.9 million per year in annual rent and is the first privatization decision taken by the Greek government, which was elected in January on promises to repeal the conditions of Greece’s previous two bailouts and block such privatizations.
But Tsipras has been forced to renege on his pre-election promises in order to win a deal on a third bailout for Greece, worth €86 billion.