Immediate action for the sale of a 30 pct stake in the Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" owned by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) was decided at a meeting of the Government Council on Economic Policy held at the finance ministry on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the chair.
"It is our ideological and policy position, as we constantly stress, to view privatisations are a developmental tool for the economy, provided that these are carried out on terms of full transparency and with the public interest as the guideline, and not just as a means to raise public revenues", Finance Minister Christos Staikouras stated afterward.
He noted that "an effort to complete the process of the commitments undertaken by our country in this direction", had been among the measures included in the government's policy statements outlined by Mitsotakis and the finance ministry.
"Today we are implementing one more commitment we had undertaken. This is the current government's first privatisation process. It should be noted that a commitment to carry out the specific privatisation was undertaken by the previous government but, naturally, never implemented", he added.
Finance ministry sources said that instructions were given to the HRADF to immediately continue a process asking for the submission of offers for the airport, which had begun on June 28. The deadline for the specific tender ends on September 30 but may be extended.
One of the obstacles, according to the sources, was a term requiring that the Greek State hold two positions on the airport's board following the sale of the 30 pct stake, one of which must be the board chairman.
In addition to the premier, the economic policy council meeting included the ministers of finance, development and investments, environment and energy, infrastructure, shipping, rural development and foods, tourism, ministers of state and the relevant deputy ministers.