Everything to go, in Europe fire sale
Europe's most ambitious sell-off is taking place in its most indebted nation: Athens plans to sell €50 billion of state assets by 2015. They too are treading the same pathUpdated: Jul 04, 2011 01:36 IST
Europe's most ambitious sell-off is taking place in its most indebted nation: Athens plans to sell €50 billion of state assets by 2015.
Looking at the sales list, it seems that very little has been left off the table. The government's stakes in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, 39 airports, a state lottery, a national post office, two water companies, hundreds of kilometres of roads, a telecom operator, shares in two banks, electricity and gas monopolies and thousands of hectares of land, including coastal stretches, are among the host of assets on offer.
Though Greece's privatisation scheme offers plenty of desirable assets, experts say the country will struggle to raise the hoped-for €50 billion because investors are wary of the country's bureaucracy, strong unions, corruption and lack of transparency. Barely a year ago, Greece itself estimated that privatisation could raise, at best, €1 billion to €2 billion a year.