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The Boston Globe

Business

Struggling Greece seeking to sell government buildings

ATHENS — Greece’s cash-strapped government detailed Monday its plans to sell 28 state-owned buildings on long-term lease, including tax offices, ministry buildings, and the main police headquarters in Athens.

A government privatization fund said it hoped to make $39 million annually from the lease agreements lasting 20 to 25 years.

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Included are the main properties used by the ministries of justice, education, and culture; 12 tax offices; and the greater Athens police headquarters.

Investors should express interest by April 19, according to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund.

Greece is under pressure to speed up its privatization program by its rescue lenders, the other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, who have been providing bailout funds since 2010 that are set to total $313 billion.

Inspectors from the rescue creditors are in Athens and were meeting with Greece’s ministers of finance, labor, development, and the interior. They will meet Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday.

The debt inspectors are also pressing for faster implementation of public sector staff reductions, despite a national unemployment rate nearing 27 percent and the ongoing recession that started in late 2008.

Updated official data Monday showed Greece’s economy shrank at a slightly slower pace than initially forecast in the last quarter of 2012, but still contracted by 6.4 percent during the year.

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