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Corfu public beach sold off

Corfu public beach sold off to developers.

Holiday visitors to the Kassiopi beach resort on Corfu may find access to the sands blocked by US developers. The cash-strapped Greek government is believed to have sold off a prime stretch of beach to a New York-based company for €23 million. In Greece, companies or businesses that acquire beach property, sometimes unlawfully, will usually seal it off to deter public access and charge customers to enjoy the beach.

Details of the terms of the sell-off are unclear but the large seaside plot of land has been sold to NCH Capital on a 99-year lease.

The sale is expected to create hundreds of temporary jobs in the area as hotels and tourist facilities are constructed on the site.

The total area of the property in Kassiopi is 490,000 sqm, of which over 320,000 sqm will remain open to the general public. In the remaining private areas, NCH is believed to have got the go-ahead to build hotels on 36,000 sqm of the land.

Kassiopi is a lively beach resort on the northeast coast of Corfu and a popular family holiday destination. As well as a pleasant village centre and a traditional port it has a trio of beaches located in three small bays.

Kassiopi is what dubbed a 'lively' Corfu beach resort and it has plenty of downmarket music bars, foam parties and karaoke and is popular with younger people.

This is the first deal by the Greek government to raise cash by selling off large plots of state-owned land. The government will retain ownership of a large swathe of forest on the site.

Greece's privatisation programme is part of a commitment to the country's international creditors but while Greece desperately needs cash to offset depleted cash coffers, critics claim lucrative state-run operations and publicly-owned land could be lost forever.

Talks are also under way on selling state-owned property on the mainland at Halkidiki as well as overseas property in London, Brussels, Nicosia, Belgrade, Ljubljana and Tashkent

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