German Company to Run Some of Greece’s Airports

October 8, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. destination /ˌdɛs təˈneɪ ʃən/ (n.) – a place where someone travels to
Example: They chose Athens as their honeymoon destination.

2. transfer /trænsˈfɜr/ (v.) – to move from one place to another
Example: The judge transferred the case to the High Court.

3. eliminate /ɪˈlɪm əˌneɪt/ (v.) – to remove or take something out
Example: The company hopes to eliminate its financial problems.

4. operate /ˈɒp əˌreɪt/ (v.) – to control something
Example: The two airlines will now operate as one.

5. debt /dɛt/ (n.) – an amount of money that is borrowed from someone
Example: The boss paid off his employee’s debt.


Read the text below.
Greece will be selling the rights to run some of its regional airports to a German company.

The Greek government has chosen the German company Fraport AG, in partnership with Greek energy company, Copelouzos, to operate 14 of its regional airports. These include some airports that are located in tourist destinations. Transferring the operation rights of the airports to a private company is the first of Greece’s privatization plans to save the country from bankruptcy. Other assets that are reportedly for sale include marinas, ports, and a castle in Corfu.

Originally, the Greek government promised that it will not go through the privatization program. However, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who resigned in August, had to go back on his word to secure a bailout or financial aid from other European countries. Without the bailout, Greece risks becoming bankrupt and getting eliminated from the euro, Europe’s joint currency. The privatization plan is just one of the conditions set for Greece to receive the bailout.

Fraport AG bought the franchise for €1.23 billion ($1.37 billion).  It consists of 14 airports located in Chania (Crete), Thessaloniki [the-sah-law-NEE-kee], Aktio, Kerkyra [KER-kee-rah] (Corfu), Kavala [kuh-VAL-uh], Kefalonia, Zakynthos [ZAH-keen-thaws], Myconos [MIK-uh-nos], Mytilene [mit-l-EE-nee], Rhodes [rohdz], Kos [kos], Samos [SEY-mos], Santorini [san-tuh-REE-nee] and Skiathos. In line with this transfer, Fraport AG will also be responsible for the maintenance and management of the airports, as well as their expansion by 2055.

In 2008, Greece was hit by the Wall Street banking collapse and conditions have not improved since. Despite receiving two bailout packages, Greece continues to be in debt because the previous bailout provided for them was only enough to pay for their international debt, but not for improving their economy.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think the people in Greece feel about selling the operation rights of their regional airports to Germany?
·         If you were the prime minister of Greece, would you have done the same? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you were your country’s leader, what would you do to help Greece with its financial problems?
·         Do you think countries with financial problems should be helped by other countries, or should they solve their problems on their own? State your reasons. 

October 8, 2015