Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke of the investment opportunities that are coming in Greece’s way thanks to the new government, while taking the floor at the 4th Euro-Arab Summit; at the same time, he called the Arab capital investors to seize the opportunities it offers.
Mr. Mistotakis also said that Greece cannot lift the weight of more refugees and immigrants, whereas he went on about Turkey for one whole paragraph while barely spending five words regarding its behavior in the Aegean.
The Greek-Arab cooperation in the field of privatization is welcomed, the prime minister said and quoted: “I remind that the privatization of the Athens International Airport is already under way, while pretty soon the exploitation of 10 regional HRADF-owned ports until 2042 will also be granted. The way is paved for the utilization, through a public-private sector collaboration, of the remaining 23 regional airports, and for seven major marinas, that also belong to HRADF, which will also offer 24% of EYATH’s share capital, to be granted to private investors.
Yet he promised the Arabs an investment paradise: “… with the new government, which was born out of the strong mandate of the Greek people, we are determined – and already do – to turn our country into an attractive investment destination. Your funds are welcome in our home country. And you will find, for the first time I believe, an approach that suits your interest in investing in Greece”.
He also addressed, though, the ongoing investments: “In the field of tourism, the South Aegean Regional Council has already approved the study of the ‘Mykonos Project’. A € 50 million hotel investment from AGC. An Abu Dhabi and Kuwait-based company is conducting business in Greece through “Asteras Vouliagmenis”, while the second stage of the investment is expected with the redevelopment of “Astir Beach”.
On the particularly important and crucial domain for our country’s development, that of agriculture, Amerra Capital Management and Mubadala Investment Company have already invested in the pivotal sector of fish farming through “Andromeda” company. And now, the Competition Committee has approved the merger of the companies “Selonda” and “Nireus” under the Andromeda scheme, which are now controlled by two Arab companies. Therefore, both enter again the profitability ring.
He made a special reference to the golden visa program: “With a special amendment voted a few days ago, it also re-activates the acquisition of a golden visa through POS. Indeed, this happens under rather favoring terms for the real estate markets outside of Attica, so that the value of Greek properties can increase in the region as well … According to the latest data, Egypt is ranked 4th in the golden visa applications, followed by Lebanon. Interest is also high in Iraq and Jordan. The lion’s share is of course held by China, with almost 60% of the applications. Yet just over 10% of the grants come from Arab countries”.
Investments in Energy
He spoke, however, about energy investments as well, announcing a private-investors party: “The amount of these investments for the 2019-2025 period in our country will exceed 20 billion euros. Meanwhile, two major projects are being promoted specifically for northern Greece: Kavala’s nearly exhausted gas field is now being converted into an underground gas tank with a budget of 240 million euros and in Alexandroupolis a liquefied natural gas station is under construction, which will demand a total capital of approximately 400 million euros. We are also promoting a hydroelectric power plant in Amphilochia with a capacity of 680 MW and a budget of 500 million; the hybrid complex in Sitia and Rethymno, in Crete where I come from, which will combine wind and hydro power, is right behind it. It will generate 304 MW per year and absorb funds of 280 million. At the same time, private energy initiatives – with wind farms, photovoltaic parks and hydroelectric projects – amount to almost 4.2 billion euros with the aim of providing more than 2,300 MW of new power. Gas will be the fuel bridge to move into the new era of Renewable Energy Sources.
Refugees and immigrants are unwanted
He raised the refugee-migrant issue, saying that they are not welcome in our country: “I will, therefore, be honest: My country has been receiving – especially in recent months – asymmetric flows of refugees and immigrants in relation to its size and population. Our remote islands are suffocating and inland areas with welcome centers are now facing the first problems. We control our borders and always take care of the vulnerable population of the world. Yet one country cannot bare the problems of three continents on its shoulders”.
He spent a… whole paragraph on Turkey and this time he also spent five words to talk about “Its behavior in the Aegean”, adding: “It would be good not to raise further tensions in the already sensitive area of the Eastern Mediterranean; to follow the path of international law and good neighborliness”. /ibna