Greek Islands to Hold Referendum on Privatization of Four Airports

airportResidents of Greece’s Ionian islands will be called to vote in a referendum, following a proposal by Provincial Governor Theodoros Galiatsatos on August 29. The referendum question will be about the Greek government’s decision to continue with the country’s airport privatization process.

As stated during the meeting, airport privatization is expected to be particularly severe on the region’s economy, as four of the fourteen airports that were sold (Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Aktion) are directly related to the socioeconomic life in the Ionian Islands.

The regional council decided to proceed with the referendum through electronic media after the September 20 Greek election. It was also decided that the region would take the case to court in order to annul the government’s decision.



  1. What is the logic of privatizing profitable enterprises? (I’m assuming these airports are profitable, any counter evidence would be welcomed)

    Privatizing money losers that might make a profit in private hands makes sense, selling off money makers seems more like a mafia bust out than any real attempt at reform. To be clear, I ‘m sure lots of reform is necessary in Greece but this just doesn’t make much economic or political sense (but then neither does the Euro so who am I to say?)

  2. If there was any other way of financing all the work needed at these airports I would agree with you. No investment until things are actually broken, and then ‘quick fixes’ done have left them in a sorry state. These airports are the first thing tourists, upon whom our income depends, see when they arrive. Toilets that don’t work, air-conditioning occasional, even holes in the concrete apron…….this just can’t go on.

  3. The airport in Santorini was overrun by throngs of vacationers, overwhelmed by size and woefully understaffed. Basically this is your third world infrastructure hyped up by the media. Now who paid for our airports, why are they being sold, who has authority to sell them and most importantly who will buy them, upgrade and operate them as they should.

  4. The German firm has no intention to upgrade or increase, or improve services. They’ve only committed to maintaining the airports (and some minor improvements), which is more than what’s being done now so its considered an improvement.
    If they were extending runways, providing new facilities for larger aircraft, even adding runways, then that’s a different thing.
    German firms never honour anything that doesn’t suit them vis a vis Greece, and will do almost no maintenance (after all they’ll say that what your getting now) and sack as many staff as possible.
    Who knows how bad the effect an aircraft accident caused by human error by a flight controller would be on Tourism.
    Secondly since the national debt is so immense, the country will see no benefit from the funds gained from their sale.
    Much better to wait until more favourable conditions before privatising.
    This deal is essentially ceding the airports as collateral for bailout 3.
    But a they say a deal done under duress is never a deal!