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Newsletter May 2013


Fast Track Enhanced to Facilitate Investment

One of the most important initiatives for investments in Greece, the Fast Track Law for Strategic Investments, is now significantly improved.

Greece’s successful Fast Track Law has been enhanced and broadened, simplifying the licensing procedure—an important initiative for strategic investments.

The new Fast Track law streamlines the licensing procedure for Strategic Investments, making the process easier, smoother and more attractive. It is important to note that the Fast Track process is already in effect and operative and that the new, current law is an amended and enhanced iteration, responding to market needs. read more

Attica Coastline

Athens Riviera Set for Historic Development

Participate in one of the most transformative projects in the Mediterranean—revitalising the Attica Coastline, known as the Athens Riviera.

With the creation of Attica Coastline S.A., investors will have multiple opportunities to participate in multiple projects designed to transform the seafront south of Athens.

Attica Coastline S.A., a state-owned company, has been created, with a 99-year operating charter. Attica Coastline S.A. is to manage, administer and develop public and private facilities located in the area between the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliron and Cape Sounion.

This project provides for:
• access to the coastline for citizens and visitors
• overall development of the region
• full compliance with environmental regulations
• determination of optimal land use and building regulations
• implementation of additional needed infrastructure
• creation of added value for the entire Attica region

The property of the ''under development area'' will be:
a) granted to Attica Coastline S.A. through joint ministerial decisions of the competent Ministers or
b) transferred to Attica Coastline S.A. by sale of land, donation, bequest or other type of contract.

Seaports and Seaplanes

Seaports and Seaplanes—New Transportation Infrastructure for Greece

Sea Plane operators: Get ready to raise your wings—and serve Greece’s marine destinations.

Under the new law “Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments” of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, seaplane operators may now serve Greece’s islands and maritime destinations, as seaports are established throughout Greece.

This Law provides a permanent solution for the establishment, operation and development of seaports for air transport. With this Law, providers of such services will be able to proceed seamlessly in the development of their business activities. The Law enables public or private entities to create seaports for air transport, provided that certain conditions are applied. An explicit licensing procedure with defined time limits has been established. Specifically, a Directorate of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks will be the competent service that will receive the application and the technical dossier of interested parties and will also be responsible for the receipt of all necessary approvals by the co-competent bodies and agencies within a predetermined period of time. 

The establishment of seaports for air transport may fall within the strategic investment procedure (known as ''fast track''), provided that the requirements of Article 1 of the Law 3894/2010, as applicable, are met. The establishment of seaports for air transport may also be included in the framework of Public-Private Partnerships.

"Green Light" for Highway Construction

Construction on four major highway projects that had been frozen over the past two years will be resumed, Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis announced recently.

The four projects include the Olympia Odos (Eleusis - Corinth - Patras - Pyrgos - Tsakona), the Aegean Motorway (Maliakos - Klidi), the Central Greece Motorway (Maliakos - Egnatia Odos) and the Ionian Road/New Road (Antirio - Ioannina).

After eight months of negotiations, the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, reached an agreement with concessionaires and manufacturers for the amount of 353 million Euro for all outstanding financial claims.

Based on that, private agreements were signed and the projects will resume immediately, while the revised contracts will be submitted for voting in parliament, after evaluation by the European Commission and the Courts.

The Public Investment Programme will allocate the amount of 353 million Euro. While negotiations proceed with the 43 Greek and foreign banks financing individual projects, the Ministry for Development is optimistic about the outcome. If some of the banks withdraw, the financing gap will be covered by National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds. A loan of 650 million Euro from the European Investment Bank intended solely for the completion of specific highways has been secured for this purpose.

"The government kept its promise. The four major highways begin in April. The bulldozers will resume their work in April and this is an optimistic message for the Greek economy," said Minister Hatzidakis. He pointed out that the restart of the project symbolises the restart of the Greek economy, and that the project will create 25,000 jobs and aid the development of local communities.

Furthermore, the reopening of the construction sites is expected to channel liquidity to the market, particularly in the construction industry, which has been severely affected by the economic downturn.

Sea Tourism Fair—Boosting a Key Industry

Sea Tourism plays a key role in Greece’s vital tourism industry, and efforts are underway to improve products and services as well as the vast infrastructure supporting sea tourism.

The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is being held in Athens, on May 28-29. As with the 1st Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, the conference consists of specialised sessions on cruising, yachting and coastal shipping.

Among the subjects addressed in the cruise sessions are industry development and growth strategies in the East Mediterranean, European cruise market growth and demand for the region, itinerary planning, new destination development, innovation in shore excursion programs, port privatisation, cruise marketing & sales, new market development and future prospects for regional backyard markets.

Yachting sessions evaluate the potential of organising top class yachting events in Greece, the adequacy of current international legislation (especially regarding crew welfare), the effects of ILO regulations on the yachting industry, Greece’s current challenges (taxation, infrastructure, services) and necessary solutions to capitalise on its true potential, marina privatisation and development prospects, and future market targeting and long term market development. There is also a special session on coastal shipping.

A new feature of the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is the enlarged exhibition space. The exhibition provides the ideal marketing platform for ports & destinations, hotels & resorts, airports, tourist service providers, technical support companies, sector publishers, new technologies, yacht managers & brokers, yacht interiors specialists and marinas. By exhibiting at the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, investors in the region’s ports and marina infrastructure are able to promote their business propositions and identify potential partners.

The 2013 Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum provides a unique platform to evaluate new investment opportunities and meet the leaders of this industry, as Greece, the East Mediterranean and the Black Sea will feature very strongly in the future development of sea tourism.

Photovoltaics Overtake Wind Parks

For the first time, photovoltaics (PVs) surpassed wind parks in terms of power production in Greece.

According to the latest report of the Operator of Electricity Market (LAGIE), the power generated by PVs reached 1,615 megawatts versus 1,495 megawatts generated by wind.

High absorbance values of "green" energy have resulted in an increase in investments in photovoltaics.