The Greek government has decided to proceed with a securitization of future receivables from the state lottery in order to reduce the level of government debt, a finance ministry official said.

It has made the decision in preference to a plan it was mulling last year (ASRI 11/1/1999 p. 1) securitizing future tax revenues with the proceeds earmarked to pay for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The official confirmed that the finance minister Yannos Papandoniou had decided to go ahead with a transaction backed by 300 billion drachmas ($918 million) worth of revenues.

The deal would be the first of its kind in Europe.

Banks that have discussed the deal with the ministry include Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Warburg Dillon Read, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank.

The ministry expects revenues from the lottery this year to exceed 700 billion drachmas.

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