Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis declared absolute negative towards privatizations in Greece’s energy sector. “There is not going to be any privatization in DEH [Public Power Company] in DEPA [natural gas distribution operator ] or ELPE [Petroleum Company]. I repeat what I have said until today,” Lafazanis told daily TA NEA.
Lafazanis insistence comes in sharp contrast with the Greek Reforms List and the commitments submitted by Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to Eurogroup and the country’s main lenders.
Asked by Ta NEA to comment on Varoufakis e-mail to Euro-partners that “Greek authorities are bound to respect the process of those competitions are underway,” Lafazanis appeared adamant and said that “No energy company will not be sold, no privatization will take place in the area of his responsibility.”
The daily notes, that already two privatizations projects are under way, that is the one of “power grind operator ADMIE” and the so-called “Small DEH”.
“Small DEH” describes the sale of 10 lignite units (total capacity 2,770 MW and hydroelectric plans). It is one of privatizations measures imposed by the Troika.
Lafazanis statements called Varoufakis in action who told Real FM this morning: “Greece will not cancel privatizations that have already been done but the law allows the government to change the terms of sales that are underway and examine their legality.”
Panagiotis Lafazanis is leader of the leader of Syriza’s Left Platform and has been involved in a number of disputes with the more moderate party leader and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Lafazanis is said to be the one who would love to tear apart any agreement with the lenders and would favor an exit from the euro. Right after the new government was sworn-in, Lafazanis had declared to halt privatizations.
He had argued that “electricity and natural gas were very expensive in Greece and they did not help the citizens.” He favored a new model of PPC operation, but I don;t believe we have heard about it yet.
A number of disputes and disagreements are expected to be settled today afternoon at the meeting of the Parliamentary group of SYRIZA.