ATHENS – Greece’s new Minister of Development and Investments for the New Democracy government, Adonis Georgiadis, said he won’t take any time off and will work relentlessly to bring in foreign investors and restart projects blocked under the previous Radical Left SYRIZA regime of former Premier Alexis Tsipras.
“We will work at unparalleled speed. I will not take a holiday break, I will be here every day. Work starts today,” tweeted Georgiadis in one tweet, adding in another that, “Our aim is to offer a strong incentive to foreign investment.”
He was charged by Prime Minister and party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis with immediately giving the go-ahead to the $8 billion development of the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport.
That’s on Athens’ coast at the end of a link between Piraeus – where the Chinese company COSCO that operates the bid has seen its $618 million overhaul plan, including a new mall, also blocked during SYRIZA’s time in office.
The Lambda corporation, head of the Hellenikon consortium that includes companies from China and Abu Dhabi, ripped Tsipras just before the July 7 snap elections won by New Democracy, saying the SYRIZA government had stymied the project for 4 ½ years.
Hard-core elements in SYRIZA didn’t want any foreign companies in Greece, on philosophical grounds, even though Tsipras said he did and as he didn’t root out dissidents who were opposing him.
The former government also put the brakes on a gold mine project in northern Greece that was vehemently opposed by residents fearful of damage to tourism and from environmentalists, and Mitsotakis said that would be quickly restarted as well.
The return of foreign investors scared off by SYRIZA resistance and Tsipras having put the corporate rate at 29 percent had slowed a recovery from a 9 ½ year economic and austerity crisis but Mitsotakis said he would be pro-business and bring them back fast.