Germany's Fraport has been given the green light to operate more than a dozen regional airports in Greece. The decision comes after months of political uncertainty and is part of Greece's privatization effort.
Ending more than half a year of uncertainty, Fraport on Tuesday officially got permission to operate 14 regional airports in the cash-strapped southern eurozone country.
Forming part of Athens' commitment to privatize more state assets so as to consolidate the federal budget, the deal has largely been seen as a prerequisite for Greece to secure a third bailout package from international lenders worth some 85 billion euros ($94 billion).
At the end of last year, Germany's Fraport and its Greek partner Copelouzos were named the preferred bidder consortium to operate the airports, but the transaction stalled after the left-wing government of Alexis Tsipras took power in January.
The details of the current deal will still have to be hammered out in follow-up negotiations with Greek officials, but German news agency DPA reported Fraport would have to shell out some 1.3 billion euros for the operating licenses.
Overall, Greece's privatization effort is to wash over 50 billion euros into state coffers in the longrun.
Binding dates for the sale of the Greek ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki are to be announced by the end of October.
hg/sri (AFP, Reuters, dpa)