Pushed by international lenders to privatize and sell or lease state entities and properties, Greece is going to sell a prime piece of land on Corfu, one its most famous islands, for 23 million euros ($31.4 million) to a New York development company.
Typically in Greece, businesses who acquire beachfront property, even unlawfully, block it to prevent public access and allow only their customers to use it.
This is the first deal involving a large plot of state-owned real estate, which accounts for about 50 percent of Greece’s ambitious privatization program. A fund statement said NCH Capital will be granted a 99-year concession to exploit the seaside plot at Kassiopi. The state will retain ownership of the 120-acre forested property, selling what it calls the “Right of Surface.”
The fund said the total investment at Kassiopi is expected to reach 75 million euros ($102.46 million) and will create hundreds of construction jobs but didn’t say if Greeks will lose access to the area once it is in private hands.
While Greece desperately needs cash to get out from under a staggering $430 billion debt, critics of privatization said that besides money-bleeding enterprises, the government is going to sell lucrative operations as well as land that could be lost forever.