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Greek Parliament Passes Island Sales and Leasing Law Amendment

Greece’s Parliament passed a Defense Ministry proposal requiring military approval for leasing of state-owned islands and private island sales, adding a step to the selling of assets.

A total of 166 lawmakers in the 300-member chamber backed the amendment today, with 84 voting against and two saying they were “present.” The law says state-owned islands can only be leased through concessions, not sold. The approval of the defense minister, citizen protection minister and the country’s armed forces is required to lease state-owned islands, or sell private islands, according to a faxed copy of the document submitted in Parliament on Feb. 13.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras suggested Aug. 23 that his government could sell or lease some Greek islands to boost a state-asset sales plan central to receiving international aid funds. Greece has had two bailouts, the first in May 2010, from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, with a total of 240 billion euros ($320 billion) in funds pledged.

Greece in November reduced its target for revenue from selling state assets to 11.1 billion euros by 2016 from 19 billion euros by 2015. The Greek government said in April 2011 that it planned to raise 35 billion euros from state-owned assets by 2015 as part of a 50 billion-euro program to reduce public debt, the highest in the European Union as a percentage of gross domestic product.

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