The stalled Helleniko privatization abruptly surfaced on the heated campaign trail this week, a day after joint ministerial decision was issued that included provisions bitterly opposed by the international consortium that has won the concession to build and manage the biggest-ever real development project in Greece.
New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis again burnished his pro-reform and pro-market credentials by promising to immediate lift bureaucratic obstacles plaguing the investment for years, if his center-right party wins the Sunday general election and then forms a government.
"The ministerial decision (issued yesterday) for the Helleniko site will be immediately revoked...the project will immediately commence, we're talking about 60,000 job spots here," Mitsotakis said during radio interview on Thursday.
In a diametrically opposed political angle, outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tried to side-step the criticism by the consortium's lead partner, Athens-based Lamda Development, which issued a prickly announcement on Wednesday afternoon referring to four-and-a-half years of "mockery" and an investment rendered as "unsound".
"We tried to push the project forward, but we did, indeed, change the initial contract. However, the masks have fallen for the concessionaire. There's a deal here with Kyriakos Mitsotakis to issue a license with more concrete and less green space," Tsipras shot back, without going into details.