Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)
The agency overseeing public-use spaces in the Hellenikon investment project held its first meeting on Friday, with Interior Minister Alexis Charitsis in attendance.
The meeting of the nine-member board of the Agency for the Management of Common Spaces in the Metropolitan Axis of Hellenikon-Agios Kosmas, as it is formally known, was also attended by the coordinator of the project Theopisti Perka, representatives of the Finance and Interior Ministries, the secretary of the local New Democracy office Tassos Giaitanis, Hellinikon SA and Lamda Development.
The largest investment of South Europe, worth 8 billion euros, will change the coastal landscape of Attica and involves several ministries, agencies and local municipalities that will be affected by the project.
“The long process of implementing the emblematic investment of Hellinikon both symbolically and financially marks Greece’s passage to the era of growth,” Charitsis said. “The agency’s formation is a great achievement, because it places local government at the centre” of the project, he noted.
Perka said that the call for tenders for the casino on the premises will begin shortly, and called the formation of the agency an unprecedented effort.
The mayors of Ellinikon and Alimos also said that the ambitious project will revive the adjacent towns.
ship tourism an
opportunity to develop
The challenges presented by tourism developments and the emergence of new tourism products for the city of Thessaloniki were the main topics discussed during the “Tourism of Tomorrow” conference that took place on Thursday, under the umbrella of ACT-American College Thessaloniki.
President of Thessaloniki Hotels Association Andreas Mandrinos spoke about the problems Thessaloniki faces as a destination, which he mainly attributed to the shortage of suitable infrastructure. He also referred to the sector of cruise tourism which, according to him, is currently under-unexploited, since Thessaloniki, together with Egypt, are the only cities in the Mediterranean where the cruise traveler could disembark and go for a walk in the city centre.
In 2018, Mandrinos continued, Thessaloniki had 1,500 cruise ship arrivals, ranking 33rd among the 43 ports of the country. The problem with the this, he said, is not only the lost revenue but also the lost opportunity for promoting the city.
Finally, Mandrinos quoted figures showing that the revenue per available room (REV/PAR) in Thessaloniki is currently calculated at 53 euros, when the equivalent amount in Athens is at 97 euros.
Cruise ship arrivals
The Piraeus Port Organisation (OLP) has secured an increase in the confirmed arrivals of cruise ships in 2019, it announced on Friday. According to the organisation’s figures, cruise ship arrivals to Greece’s largest port will reach 605 in 2019, from 524 in 2018. The expected rise will be 15.8 percent.
Moreover, homeporting cruise ships using Piraeus port for the start and end of cruises will rise to 372 in 2019, from 257 in 2018 (44 percent rise).
reluctant to seek
Only 17 pct of enterprises intend to ask for a settlement of their loans from credit institutions, of which 12 pct seeks a solution through an out-of-court debt settlement mechanism and a 55 pct through a cooperation with banks. At the same time, businessmen were reluctant to seek new loans because of the prevailing high interest rates in the market, a survey conducted by the Economic Chamber of Greece said on Thursday.
The survey, seeking to examine the lack of liquidity in the Greek economy and businesses’ lack of faith in resolving the non-performing loan problem, was conducted on a sample of 908 enterprises and self-employed of every size and sector in the economy.
A 65 pct said their profitability fell or remained unchanged in the last five years, while only 12 pct recorded a rapid increase in profits. One in two enterprises has an annual debt servicing cost of below 10,000 euros, but only two out of 10 have signed loans with interest rates lower than 4.0 pct. The majority (66 pct) have an interest rate of between 4-10 pct, while a 13 pct has a double-digit interest rate.
A 57 pct of respondents said they did not plan to seek for a new loan in the near future because of high interest rates (77 pct), while half of a 43 pct who planned to seek new funding said they could offer collateral for a loan.
A 75 pct of respondents said their debt did not exceed 100,000 euros, while only 8.0 pct said their debt exceeded 500,000 euros. A 70 pct of respondents with medium- to long-term loans said their annual debt servicing cost was less than 30,000 euros.
A 52 pct of respondents in the survey said that regardless of the course of their revenue in the last five years, they remained optimistic over revenue outlook in the future. Only 16 pct believed that their revenue will shrink significantly or slightly in the next three years.