Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Greece takes first steps to €50bn sell-off

Financial Times
March 23, 2011

Greece has selected international advisers for the first round of an ambitious €50bn ($71bn) privatisation programme aimed at averting a forced restructuring of its sovereign debt.

The finance ministry on Wednesday named financial and legal advisers for two big concession projects to operate Athens airport and develop a luxury resort.

It said an “action plan will be presented in the coming weeks” outlining options for raising €15bn over the next two years and another €35bn by 2015 from sales of state companies and the development of state-owned real estate.

The announcement means that George Papandreou, prime minister, can claim progress on a key reform at Friday’s European Union summit on shoring up eurozone finances.

Greece hopes that European leaders will seal a deal agreed earlier this month to allow debt-burdened eurozone member states to sell their bonds to the European financial stability facility, the Union’s current rescue fund.


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