– Cash-strapped Greece begins its bid to raise funds… by selling off Corfu (Daily Mail, Mar 7, 2012):
Greece is trying to sell off a huge slab of land on the holiday island of Corfu to raise cash to tackle its debts, it emerged today.
Government officials revealed a tender has been launched for the exploitation of a large seaside plot on the western resort island.
The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund said it is seeking to sell the ‘right of surface’ for the 120-acre, forested property at Kassiopi for up to 100 years.
The tender is part of Greece’s bid to raise 50billion euro ($66billion) through an open-ended program of privatisations and concession sales, half of which will involve real estate.
The country has committed to raise 19billion euro ($25billion) of that sum by 2015.
A statement from the fund invited investors to submit expressions of interest by April 10 in the Corfu property, which is in the northeastern part of the island.
About a third of the land can be developed, and one idea is that it could be used to build an upmarket residential complex to be used as vacation homes and hospitality or leisure facilities.
The fund has already launched tenders this year for the sale of the DEPA gas company and commercial real estate in Athens.
Greece has committed to the privatisation program in exchange for the international rescue loans that have been keeping it afloat since May 2010.
The initial deadline for the entire program was 2015, but that was later relaxed to allow its better implementation.
Greek officials say they expect the program to create some 50,000 jobs by 2015, and boost investment and growth.
The country is in its fifth year of recession, which has pushed unemployment up to a record 21 per cent in November with more than a million people out of work.