Qatar said to rejoin Greek airport project

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Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (AFP/Getty Images).

Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (AFP/Getty Images).

Qatar has rejoined a public tendering process to redevelop former Athens airport Hellinikon, it was reported.

Qatar “has signed the confidentiality agreement and is returning to the Hellinikon tender,” Greek government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou told Greece's Vima radio.

According to Greece's privatisation agency, the final submission of technical offers is expected to take place in July.

Qatar Investment Authority's development arm Qatari Diar pulled out of the tender in January prior to a visit to Doha by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Greek reports at the time had suggested that Qatar would discuss only a direct assignment of the contract.

Hellinikon airport is situated 8 km south of capital Athens and the site is more than three times the size of Monaco. In 2011 the government wanted to sell the airport, hoping to raise around US$6.6bn.

Following a commitment made to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Greece will have to raise US$25bn through the sale or lease of state assets by 2015. In October, the Greek government said it planned to raise just US$12.6bn by 2016 and according to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund this year’s targeted privatisation revenue is of US$3.5bn.

Qatar and Greece's economic relations registered an important development this year with the conclusion of several agreements including the establishment of a US$2.6bn joint fund.

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