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Economy

Qatar – Tied to EU Corruption Scandal – Eyes Investments in Greece

ATHENS – Greece’s reachout to Qatar for closer diplomatic ties, trade and investments – despite an investigation into allegedly bribing European Parliament members, including Greece’s Eva Kaili – will see the country’s leader come to Athens.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is set to return a visit to his country’s capital Doha by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in February and then Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis in April.

Qatar has denied any wrongdoing in the stalled probe into the corruption scandal that investigators said was an attempt to gain influence and came during its hosting of the World Cup after critics lambasted its human rights record.

The tiny Middle East country’s population is made up mostly by expatriates and foreign workers who comprise about 85 percent of the 2.7 million people living there but has the fourth-highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the world.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Extroversion Kostas Fragogiannis and his staff are trying to woo investments again from Qatar, said Kathimerini after the rich Arab state had pulled back.

A decade ago Qatar pulled out of a hotel resort on the island of Corfu over Greece’s notorious bureaucracy and it had previously invested in Greek banks and energy production but Qatar Petroleum’s share in Heron was eventually acquired by the main shareholder, Greece’s GEK Terna, in 2021.

Qatar’s real estate agency had been interested in being a partner in the 8-billion euro ($8.69 billion) development of the abandoned Ellinikon international airport on Athens’ coast that is now underway but was bought out by Greece’s Lamda.

But with one of the largest investment funds in the world funded by its vast energy deposits, Qatar is still a sought-after investor in high-end projects as well as tourism, agriculture, and real estate.

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