Reactions for the privatization of Greek Regional Airports

  • Former PM Samaras

Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras criticized the government harshly for having accused his then-government of “selling out” on the issue of privatizations by trying to sell some of Greece’s regional airports, when current premier Alexis Tsipras is now embracing it.

Samaras was commenting on the government’s decision to go ahead with the sale of 14 regional airports to the joint venture of Fraport-Slentel, a deal which had been vehemently contested by Syriza and which Tsipras had vowed to annul when he came to power.

“The government decided eventually to go ahead with the privatization of 14 airports, exactly in the way the previous government had agreed. Then, it had denounced the decision as a suspicious sellout; now it is adopting it as a beneficial and important agreement,” the former leader of New Democracy said. “He could have apologized of course, but he has no shame…” he added.

  • The Left Platform of SYRIZA

SYRIZA’s Left Platform slammed the government on Tuesday over its decision to proceed with the concession deal for 14 regional Greek airports, accusing the coalition of “surrendering” public assets, as the rift in the party between those willing to implement the country’s new bailout agreement and those vehemently opposed to it grows.

The Left Platform-affiliated website iskra.gr published an article accusing the government of handing over the airports for a “measly sum as a prize to German interests.” The 40-year contract for the airports has been awarded to a consortium led by Germany’s Fraport AG but also including Greece’s Copelouzos Group.

The article referred to the deal as being the “first fire sale under a SYRIZA government” and a “large present to [Angela] Merkel and [Wolfgang] Schaeuble, clearly in return for their services in the formation of the new, deplorable memorandum.”

Earlier, Stathis Leoutsakos, an MP who is part of the Left Platform, said that if Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decides to hold a confidence vote, members of the radical faction would not back him. The Left Platform is expected to step up pressure on Tsipras in the coming days to allow greater debate in the party bodies about the policy direction chosen by the prime minister.

  • To Potami

On his part, centrist Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis said the privatization of the airports was merely delayed and with nary an effort by the radical leftists to improve sale conditions.
“We went from ‘hard negotiations’ to ‘no negotiations’,” was his bitter comment.

The Potami leader reminded that his party was in favor of the agreement all along, given the need for foreign direct investments and necessary modernization of the airports.
He closed by saying that the current left-rightist coalition government is a “hostage to its unfeasible pre-election promises”.

  • Employees Association in Chania Airport

“The privatization of 14 Greek Regional Airports completes our surrender to Germans… unfortunately… by a Left Government.

We mention to all those who managed to elect as MPs in the last elections by syaing that they will stop the privatization procedure, that they are unwelcome to Chania Airport.

And because they will soon need our vote… again… we let them find it in other “friendly” areas.

They have to explain to people of Chania (i) the reason of not keeping their pre-election commitments and (ii) what will be the “profit” for Chania Prefecture and local economy from the privatization of “Daskalogiannis”?”

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