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19 Aug, 2015 15:47

Greece for sale: Germans to run Greek regional airports as part of bailout deal

Athens has approved a deal to hand over the operation of 14 airports to a German company.

The 40-year contract worth €1.23 billion was awarded to Fraport AG, which currently runs Frankfurt Airport.

READ MORE: German parliament approves €86 billion Greek bailout

The airports are not the only things on sale in Greece right now. Other travel hubs like ports and railways, the national lottery, water utilities and even the islands are to be sold off.

The privatization is part of the creditors' demands to secure a third bailout for the debt-ridden country. It goes against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' pre-election promise not to privatize the country’s infrastructure. The idea was strongly opposed by Syriza’s left platform which accuses the coalition of “surrendering” public assets.

The €86 billion rescue loan is necessary for Greece to stay in the eurozone, without it the country would default on its debts. Athens has a €3.2 billion debt repayment to the ECB due on 20 August and another €1.5 billion to the IMF in September.

READ MORE: €86bn loan over 3 years: Eurogroup agrees to launch third bailout program for Greece

While the German Parliament, the Bundestag, backed the Greek bailout Wednesday with the majority of 454 votes in favor, it’s now the IMF’s turn to make a decision. The International Monetary Fund has yet to decide whether it will participate in the third bailout package. The fund has repeatedly said Greece’s debt is unsustainable, warning the third bailout will not save Greece from financial collapse. It also called the European creditors to write down a massive amount of Greek debt or give the country a 30-year grace period if they want it to recover and repay.