The Greek government’s decision to privatize four airports in the Ionian region, has sparked angry reaction from regional and local authorities.
The four regional airports, located on Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Aktion, are among the 14 that are to be leased and managed by Germany’s Fraport and Greek energy firm Copelouzos, according to a recent government decision published in the Government Gazette.
However, Ionian Islands Prefect Theodoros Galiatsatos said that he opposes the privatization of the regional airports as he believes the deal would seriously impact the region’s economy.
“The possible increase in landing fees will put off low-cost and charter flights and have negative effects on tourism in this region”, Mr. Galiatsatos told Greek daily Kathimerini.
He said that he intends to appeal the government’s decision in the next regional council meeting. Thoughts to let the people decide through a referendum are also being considered.
The Mayor of Corfu Konstantinos Nikolouzos made similar statements to the press.
“The concession of 14 airports, including the airport of Corfu, to the German joint venture, is a very negative development, which finds us completely opposed”, he said.
The mayor said that the Municipality of Corfu will react to the concession by any means and will join any mobilization required, depending on the developments.
According to the mayor, the Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport, one of the biggest and most lucrative in Greece, holds the 5th place in the overall passenger traffic between regional airports in the country.