According to news from Greece’s privatization agency TAIPED, a 30% stake in Athens International Airport SA (AIA) will be up for grabs now. Underneath the coming deal, are dire signs the Greek people will go on suffering, and on, and on, and on. Here’s a dissenting view on the question of privatization and questionable politics in Greece.
An announcement carried by Reuters and other news agencies tells of an invitation to interested parties to submit their interest on Sept. 30. TAIPED says the tender process would be conducted in two phases, a pre-qualification phase followed by the submission of binding offers.
The privatization agency holds a 30 percent stake in the airport, with the government owning another 25 percent. The rest is held by German-based airport manager AviAlliance and Greek group Copeluzos. Pay close attention to just how big a role German companies play in Greece, and to how many highly profitable ventures they are buying into. Make no mistake, this Athens Airport deal is not to the benefit of Greeks. Read how the rate of growth in airport revenues reflects on the overall privatization picture. In this case, the Greek privatization agency will be losing for Greeks 7% in profits to an outside agent in order to pay off the Germans. Talk about double jeopardy.
MarketWatch columnist Darrell Delamaide called it “the looting of Greece” back in 2015 in a story that panned out to be prophetic. The geopolitical analyst called the German onslaught plundering and discussed how “the whole euro charade” a war of conquest by money instead of arms. Here’s the gist of his revelation:
“After piling more and more unsustainable debt onto the Greek government in two previous bailouts — most of which went back to banks in France and Germany — the victorious Northern European governments are now inviting their companies to partake in the spoils.”
Privatization in Greece have been billed as pillars of economic reform in Greece, but the economic win for Greeks is questionable. So far, experts have not shown how selling off profitable government assets is going to create a sustainable economic future for Greece. The truth of these matters is not rocket science when all is said and done. The same people who tried to plunder Europe in the 1930s and 1940s are neck deep in stealing anything that brings a profit.
Back in January of 2019, the Athens government removed 2,330 archaeological sites, monuments and museums out of a state assets fund, after many Greeks protested for fear their priceless heritage might be sold off. The government has repeatedly denied the site and monuments could be sold. However, the fact sites like the Palace at Knossos on Crete and other irreplaceable heritage sites were on the list in the first place suggests Athens is not being altogether forthcoming.
To make matters worse, the incoming government replacing Alexis Tsipras administration seems hell bent on selling off Greek assets even faster than their Syriza colleagues. Center-right New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has detailed his poll-leading party’s position on the further privatization of several regional ports around the country, citing the continued development of Thessaloniki’s already privatized port authority and the concession for the ports of Kavala and Alexandroupolis as top priorities for a future ND government.
From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem that the Greeks are in a death spiral of political intrigue and betrayal from which the country cannot recover. No matter which way you turn the legacy of Greeks seems to be economic colonization by foreign interests. The privatization of the Kavala and Alexandroupolis ports by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), the privatization agency that holds the shares of the still state-run entities, will only expand foreign influence in Greece.
The United States has already begun the leveraging of the New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, even before a requested meetup by US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. And despite every appearance that Kyriakos Mitsotakis is a centrist, Greece’s probable PM is a poster child for the liberal world order that shattered Greece in the first place.
By all appearances, Mitsokis is riding the back of Antonis Samaras, and Adonis Georgiadis in order to wedge in the same outside interests Tsipras did. At least this is my view. The strategy of coattail riding a populist wave, helped by US, German, and other interests, seems to be at work here. I hope I am wrong. Politico’s David Patrikarakos calls Mitsotakis a “Trojan Trump” – and I’m inclined to believe him.
Richard Pine at Irish Times captures the pitiful situation with regard to the Greek legacy. “Greece’s election shows the powerlessness of its politicians” starts with the truth of the situation:
“None of the party leaders can actually offer any realistic programme to alleviate the economic crisis which remains central to most people’s lives.”
Who knows better than the Irish? In the article by Pine, the summary of matters is told by the fact Greece needs statesmen, instead of a multitude of politicians. There has to be someone, a group, a sect, a coalition that can stand up to the central powers of Europe, as well as to the sellouts in Greece. Compromise is clearly not working. Currently, Germany has 120 enterprises in Greece taking advantage of 27,000 cheap laborers to extract 7.7 billion euro from Greeks and tourists. And the profit goes back to Germany. The Germans have pushed Greece to sell everything from its cultural heritage to its clean drinking water in an effort to pay down a questionable debt, and to capitalize on the downtrodden Greek.
Unless the Greek people pay close attention, the new political wave will usher in more privatization and the sacking of the country. Greece needs less privatization and more ingenuity with regard to its stance on the eurozone. I think a reexamination of the Drachma is in order.