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German firm to pilot Greek airports

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 01:29

Greece's government is allowing Germany's Fraport to run more than a dozen regional airports. It's the first privatisation sale since Athens approved a new bailout. But as Amy Pollock reports another top foreign investment project has suffered a setback.

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German-Greek relations look like they're taking off again. Greece has confirmed that Germany's Fraport will run more than a dozen regional airports, including popular island resorts such as Corfu. The 1.2 billion euro deal was frozen after Alexis Tsipras' leftist government took power in January. But now Greece's first privatisation sale in exchange for a third bailout is set to go ahead. German trader Fidel Helmer: (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD TRADER AT HAUCK & AUFHAEUSER, FIDEL HELMER, SAYING: "The deal, a concession for more than 40 years to operate 14 airports is a positive story, for Fraport and Greece. But there will certainly be voices which will find fault with it." Despite German lawmakers backing a new bailout, the relationship between Europe's powerhouse and its laggard remains rocky says Rabobank's Jane Foley. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST AT RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Certainly patience with Greece has run dry....It is a very difficult situation, very difficult to know yet if is irreparable, but the fact that we have a third bailout here suggests that relations could improve." But Athens remains cautious over foreign investment deals. The government has stopped activity at a Canadian-run goldmine in northern Greece. Though the $1 billion project could lead the way for other foreign investors, Greece's energy ministry says Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of Eldorado Gold, has broken its contract. It's reportedly seeking more details on its techniques to make gold extraction safe.

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German firm to pilot Greek airports

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 01:29