A man sleeps in the main Athens' Syntagma square in front of the Greek parliament. File photo: AP/ Thanassis Stavrakis)


Athens - Greece on Friday announced plans to auction some of the country's state buildings online, as part of a privatisation drive required for the release of EU-IMF bailout loans.

The Hellenic asset development fund (HRADF) said its board had approved the procedure to create the necessary web-based platform and that the first e-auctions would begin on a test basis between July and September.

“This is an innovative effort aiming to maximise transparency, speed and the competitive intensity of our operations,” HRADF managing director Yiannis Emiris said in a statement.

The agency said the new platform will offer “easy and immediate access” to technical and legal information on the auctioned properties.

Greece last month released a list of 28 state buildings for sale or lease, including various ministries, the police headquarters of Athens and Thessaloniki, and several tax offices.

It must raise 2.6 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in asset sales this year.

Facing a sixth consecutive year of recession, the heavily-indebted country has been relying on international rescue packages to avoid bankruptcy.

Since 2010, the European Union and the IMF have committed 240

billion euros ($313 billion) overall in rescue loans to Greece.

In return, Greece has pledged to raise 9.5 billion euros in asset sales by 2016, a target that was originally 50 billion. - Sapa-AFP