Latest emblematic privatization dislodged from proverbial Greek 'red tape' is Kassiopi Project in northern Corfu

Monday, 13 July 2020 23:00
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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis again burnished his center-right government's pro-business and investment-friendly credentials over the week, this time using northern Corfu as the backdrop to announce the commencement of the long-delayed Kassiopi property development.

Mitsotakis, more than a week after standing before a backdrop of heavy machinery tearing down dilapidated buildings at the Helleniko site in coastal southeast Athens - another landmark privatization beset by "red tape" and numerous legal challenges - reminded that the Kassiopi investment dates from 2013, with successive Greek governments supporting the project since then. He cited 11 court challenges, two presidential decrees, 10 ministerial decisions and no less than 54 approvals and opinions by every conceivable level and service of Greek bureaucracy as having delayed and blocked the privatization since that time.

"In order to have more such foreign investments, investors should not have to undergo such an ordeal, where ministers' intervention is needed to solve every problem," he said.

The Kassiopi investment is billed as reaching 120 million euros, and will result in the construction and operation of a high-end all-season resort in an underdeveloped tract of land in the northern part of the Ionian island of Corfu.

Company officials point to the creation of 1,000 jobs during the construction phase, and 500 permanent jobs afterwards.

The benefits for the local economy are calculated at 180 million euros over a decade, according to the government.

Based on developers' plans, 93 percent of the site, 45.5 hectares, will remain as green spaces and forest. Buildings will be based on the island's architectural style.

Besides a five-star hotel, the site will include holiday villas and a 60-slot marina, all built to bioclimatic standards. Other infrastructure includes wild-fire protection, a desalinization plant and every facet of recycling.

NHC Capital Inc. is the lead partner in the Kassiopi Project.

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