Stergios Pitsiorlas: Expansion of ‘golden visa’ program, shipyards privatization priorities for October-November
The expansion of the “golden visa” foreign investors incentive program and the privatizations of shipyards are among the priorities of the Economy and Development Ministry, Alternate Ministry for Industry Stergios Pitsiorlas said on Wednesday.
At a press briefing on the ministry’s plan over the next two months, Pitsiorlas said that the focus would be on upgrading industry’s role in Greece, including the option of setting up a ministry for the purpose.
A new bill being drafted will expand the golden visa program of residence permits granted to property purchases in Greece. It will be offered to investors spending 400,000 euros in the bonds or shares of real estate investment companies, or in deposits at the country’s banks. The visa will also be offered to foreign investors placing 800,000 euros in Greek government bonds.
The privatizations process of the Eleusis and Skaramangas Shipyards will begin with negotiations with interested investors in October and November, respectively, Pitsiorlas said. Three consortia have expressing their interest for Eleusis in writing, while the process to return Eleusis Shipyards to fiscal health under a preferred investor will begin shortly.
At Skaramangas, two separate entitities will initiate a tendering process for the military and commercial section on one hand, and dry-dock number 5 with an adjacent area of 12 hectares on the other.
Pitsiorlas clarified that Cosco, owner of Piraeus Port, has not tabled a proposal for any of the two shipyards. Its only proposal relates to the Perama shipyard in the Piraeus area, but the law prohibits the issuance of a new licence for it. An option for a large-tonnage ship repair facility at the island of Psitalia, included in Cosco’s agreement with the Greek state, is under review, he added.
In medical cannabis, the government is reviewing seven investment proposals, with the first permits expected to be granted shortly.
As for the Hellenic Sugar Industry (EVZ) and the Hellenic Vehicles Industry (ELVO), Pitsiorlas said that things are unclear as to whether the investment for the former will move ahead, while developments are expectedt to be announced soon about the latter. Interest remains high for ELVO, he noted, despite two failed tenders. Talks are expected to be completed by mid-November, so the tendering can be renewed.