Greece plans Athens airport listing in 2024

English Section / 22 septembrie

Greece plans Athens airport listing in 2024

Versiunea în limba română

Greece plans to list the Athens International Airport, the country's biggest, on its stock exchange next year, Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said recently, according to Reuters.

The airport's shareholders have given the go ahead for the sale of a 30% stake currently owned by privatisation agency HRADF, which had been originally aimed for the first half of the year, a senior official from the agency has told Reuters.

The shareholders have signed a memorandum of understanding, opening the way for Germany-based manager AviAlliance to acquire a further 10% stake, with HRADF's remaining 20% to be sold through an initial public offering (IPO) for listing on the Athens Stock Exchange,

"The listing will take place from the beginning of next year", Hatzidakis told a news conference.

After coming out from a decade-long financial crisis and three international bailouts worth about 260 billion euros in 2018, Greece has divested stakes in ports and energy companies to help boost competition and cut down debt, still the euro zone's highest.

The nation has also fixed its finances and its economy has outpaced European peers since. This month, it regained an investment grade credit rating after 13 years, though not from one of the three major ratings agencies.

"We stick to achieving our fiscal targets...regaining an investment grade by the remaining rating agencies, and cutting down public debt further", Hatzidakis said.

Athens is set to achieve a primary budget surplus of 0.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP) this year, a goal set in its 2023 budget, he said, while announcing a series of measures to crack down on a shadow economy.

Greece's central government budget recorded a primary surplus of 5.56 billion euros in the January-August period this year, from a deficit of euro481 million in the corresponding period in 2022, the Bank of Greece said on Wednesday, according to

The central bank attributed this development to an increase in revenue to euro39.7 billion, from euro35.7 billion the previous year, while spending eased to euro39 billion from euro39.253 billion. The cash deficit was euro964 million in the eight-month period from a deficit of euro5.58 billion in 2022. Interest spending rose to euro5.5 billion from euro5 billion last year.

Bank of Greece governor: Economy forecast to grow by 2.2% this year and 3% in 2024

The Greek economy is expected to grow by 2.2% this year and by 3.0% in 2024, Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras said on Wednesday, ANA reports, according to In comments made to Global Finance magazine, the central banker said he expected the Greek economy to grow by 2.2% this year, due to an expected slow of economic activity in the Eurozone and a milder increase in private consumption. He noted that a 3.0% growth rate in 2024 could be achieved only on condition that the implementation of an investment plan funded by the RRF will proceed as scheduled, that a geopolitical crisis will not deteriorate, and that a stricter monetary policy will not leave any permanent trauma on the economy.

This month, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras issued a warning to banks, saying that favorable conditions which contributed toward the increase of their profitability will not be continued in the future, according to

Addressing the Eurofi Financial Forum in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), the central banker said that "commercial banks must be prepared for a more adverse banking and macroeconomic environment because of the tighter monetary policy".

He noted that interest rate increases by the European Central Bank have so far positively affected commercial banks' profitability through an increase in the net interest margin, but this trend was not expected to continue because of a gradual rise in deposit interest rates, higher borrowing costs in money markets and lower demand for loans.

Stournaras noted that the same reasons of concern also applied to enterprises in the non-financial sector, money market funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, asset market companies, insurance companies, pension funds etc.

Commenting on fiscal developments, the central banker said it was imperative they remain on a restrictive fiscal policy and noted that new fiscal rules should be implemented from early 2024.

Unions in Greece launched a 24-hour strike yesterday, which paralyzed public transport and education, thus protesting against the new law that encourages greater flexibility on the labor market, reports AFP. Civil servants, hospital workers, teachers and dockers joined the protest movement, which led to the closure of the Athens subway and the reduced operation of buses.

One of the main provisions of the law, which was to be approved yesterday evening by the Athens Parliament, is that private sector employees will be authorized to work for several employers during a day. Also, stores will be able to ask employees to work six days out of seven, in case of emergency.

Opposition parties and unions have accused the Conservative Government of worsening the exploitation of employees in a labor market that is poorly regulated and where many fear losing their jobs.

In response, the Greek Minister of Labor, Adonis Georgiadis, emphasized that the objective of the law is to "stimulate employment" and "increase the number of viable and well-paid jobs", notes Agerpres.

In July, the Government led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who at the end of June won a second mandate, already adopted a law that allows employees to work even after they have reached the age of 74, i.e. seven years over the official retirement age .

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants to reduce the unemployment rate in Greece, from 10.8% currently to 8% in 2027.