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Greece sells off ports and marinas

- by Dave Sewell

Greece sells off state-run ports and marinas.

State-run ports throughout Greece could be sold off next year to private firms in a bid to cut the national debt. Visitors using Greek Islands holiday ferries are unlikely to notice the difference, but the Greek government is set to proceed with privatisation of 131 ports on the Greek mainland and throughout the Greek islands.

Many holiday visits to the Greece are made on the Greek ferry system with regular sailings to the Greek islands. Greek ports are also used for yachting holidays as well as popular Greek Island hopping holidays,

Details of the Greek port and marina sell-off will be announced in February and competitive bids will start immediately afterwards.

To pave the way for bids, Greek ports have been split into three categories – ports of national importance, ports of major interest and ports of local importance.

As well as parts of the massive international ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, the first to be offered to private buyers will be the major mainland ports of Volos, Rafina, Igoumenitsa, Patras. Lavrio, Kavala and Alexandroupoli as well as ports on the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Crete and Corfu.

The government claims the ports sell off will lead to major modernization of Greek ports and aid the recovery of the Greek economy as well as creating new jobs.

Greece has hundreds of publicly owned ports and just a handful of private ports. The ports comes in all sizes and handle more than 85% of external trade in Greek goods .

Beleaguered Greece is being forced to sell off many of its state-owned assets to meet the terms of its €130 billion bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.