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Mar 17, 7:34 AM EDT

EU Commission clears Greek regional airport privatization

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EU Commission clears Greek regional airport privatization

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The European Commission has approved the transfer of 14 Greek airports to a German-led consortium and says it's now up to Greece to finalize the deal, a key element of the country's bailout program.

The Commission says the 1.23 billion-euro ($1.32 billion) agreement can go ahead as it did not involve state aid, was transparent and in line with market conditions.

In a statement Friday, the Commission said Greek authorities now have to complete the transfer and delivery of the airports on a 40-year concession to Fraport AG and its Greek partner, Copelouzos Group. The deal was initially due to come into effect last year.

The 14 airports are Thessaloniki - Greece's second largest city - Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Kos, Lesbos, Skiathos, Samos, Chania, Kavala and Aktio.

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