Work was supposed to begin next year on a 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) waterfront urban renewal project almost twice the size of New York's Central Park that could have poured nearly a billion euros into Greeces depleted coffers. The plans stalled late last year after the far-left SYRIZA party took power and promised to halt attempts at putting the private sector in control of state assets, both on ideological grounds and because leaders believe rampant corruption must be addressed before any sell-off.It took some housecleaning though;
Now, in an attempt to get a third European bailout and prevent the Greek economy from collapsing, the ruling party has done an about-face. It has pledged to fast-track the waterfront project, plus sell government assets and allow for private development of state-owned property, all to generate cash that will help reduce Greeces 320-billion-euro national debt and pay back money lent by European nations to prop up ailing banks.
New ministers in Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government were sworn in on Saturday after a reshuffle expelled dissidents from his cabinet and began a new phase of negotiations for a third bailout package.
Tsipras sacked hardline former Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and two deputy ministers on Friday in a change that marked a split with the main leftist faction in the ruling Syriza party following a rebellion over the bailout terms.
Panos Skourletis, a close Tsipras ally who left the labor ministry to take over the vital energy portfolio, said the reshuffle marked "an adjustment by the government to a new reality".