By T. Igoumenidi
A nascent "feud" between the international consortium that's won a concession for the massive Helleniko property development in southeast Athens and the outgoing Tsipras government, given that the privatization remains mired in Greece's ubiquitous "red tape", surfaced anew this week - less than two weeks before a general election.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, ATHEX-listed Lamda Development warned the outgoing government not to issue joint ministerial decisions regarding the Helleniko project until all outstanding issues are resolved. Athens-based Lamda, in fact, warned that such last-minute decisions by the Tsipras government pose a threat to the commencement of works.
Lamda's leadership first warned against such a prospect on Tuesday, during a general assembly of shareholders in Athens.
The Helleniko redevelopment, valued at more than seven billion euros and billed as one of the biggest in Europe, continues to serve as a major "litmus test" for the Greek state's volition to attract, facilitate and support major investments in the thrice bailed-out country.
While the still ruling SYRIZA party was in the opposition before 2015, it comprised a very vocal opponent of the specific project - and practically all privatizations and denationalizations in the country. Nevertheless, it "changed gears" after signing the third memorandum in August 2015 and winning a re-election the next month in a snap election, and subsequently shepherding a handful of major privatizations, such as the Piraeus and Thessaloniki port authorities, regional airports and the rail operator. Other privatizations, however, have stalled or have proved failures, such as memorandum-mandated liberalization in the energy sector.