September 29, 2016 / 2:27 PM / a year ago

Greece extends Kasteli airport bids to Oct. 27 - govt official

ATHENS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Greece has extended by about a month to Oct. 27 the deadline for bids to build and operate a new airport on the island of Crete, a senior infrastructure ministry official told Reuters on Thursday.

“The (infrastructure) minister decided today to postpone it by a few days, after a request by four interested parties,” said George Dedes, secretary general for infrastructure.

The project is seen as a test for investors’ appetite in a country which is struggling to bring its economy back on track.

Greece signed up to a third international bailout last year. Since 2009, it has made several attempts to attract investors for the build-operate transfer (BOT) project worth an estimated 850 million euros ($954.55 million).

But its debt crisis has deterred investors and prompted a roughly 60 percent drop in investments.

The government had initially set a February deadline for the submission of bids for Kasteli but the date has been pushed backed several times due to delays in preparing the necessary documents. The latest deadline was to expire on Friday. ($1 = 0.8905 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou)

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