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Energy Minister: Privatizations? What privatizations? There are always “alternative ways”

I know, I know. And the Greek government ministers know it. That by signing the July and August3. bailout agreements, Greece committed to privatize everything that belongs to the state and has the privilege to stand, swim or crawl in Greece. But now, a week after the elections, Energy Minister Panos Skourletis says that it is better to turn public enterprises into independent body.

The start of the Greek alternative project will begin with power grid operator ADMIE despite the fact that Greece had signed to start its privatization in October. But Energy Minister Skourletis told Real FM on Monday morning that ADMIE should become a state-owned independent entity with its fixed assets remaining under the ownership of Public Power Company (PPC/DEH).

According to Reuters,

Under its latest EU/IMF bailout, Athens has agreed to start the privatisation of ADMIE in October or find alternative ways to open up its electricity market.

The country has also agreed to sell a 17 percent stake in PPC, potentially in 2016.

“There was a demand by the lenders to privatise (ADMIE),” Skourletis said. “Our counter proposal is to set up a separate (entity) from PPC grid operator, one that is state-controlled.”

Skourletis said the government did not want to further privatise PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned and controls 97 percent of Greece’s retail electricity market.

“There won’t be a further privatisation of PPC,” he said.

Greece had agreed to privatise PPC and sell a 66 percent stake in ADMIE, as part of its previous bailout. State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) was among the investors interested for ADMIE.

The leftist Syriza party halted both sales when it came to power for the first time in January.

Syriza was re-elected this month promising to implement the terms of a third 86 billion euro bailout but also to negotiate what it calls “grey areas”, such as the liberalisation of its energy market and the possible sale of PPC.

It has made a commitment to undertake a series of privatisations in the next two years to help fund its banks’ recapitalisation and reduce its huge debts.

“These (privatisations) will continue, but we need to find the most favourable terms for the society,” Skourletis said.

Referring to liberalization of the energy markets, Panos Skourletis explained that everyone has another approach on the issue.

“When we talk about liberalization of the energy market in Europe, everyone means something different. Usually, behind the liberalization, every state wants to strengthen its own national interests, these proposals are not neutral. There is a framework agreement, that makes some provisions for the PPC. We believe that we will succeed and we have already achieved that this debate is at least acceptable, that is  to maintain the public character of the PPC. “

Answering the question whether the state will keep the whole or part of the electricity company will go to individuals, the minister said: “Currently, one part is in private hands. There are no plans to further privatization of the PPC. The majority stake will be kept.”

PS Last week, PM Alexis Tsipras advised his ministers to avoid appear on morning programs of television networks. He did not make any reference to “radio programs.” On the other hand, the lenders had also agreed to “alternative ways”. And here we are with the good old Greece we love 🙂

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3 comments

  1. “public enterprises”
    I was not for the sale of public utilities.
    UNTIL.
    TELSTRA in Australia was the publicly owned telecommunications facility.
    *
    THAT EACH & EVERY ELECTED GOVERNMENT
    TOTALLY STRIPPED THE MONEY/ TAKINGS/ PROFIT EARNED
    FROM
    THE POLITICAL ARENA TOOK EVERY CENT THEY COULD
    LEAVING THE TELCO
    * NO MONEY TO REINVEST IN THE FAILITY
    * NO MONEY TO REPAIR & UPGRADE
    * ONLY EVER EMERGENCY MONEY WHICH WAS PULLED FROM THE (so called) BUDGET = pulled from the public – in higher taxes or other projects in the pipeworks.
    * WAS SPENT IN URGENT REPAIRS OR UPGRADES.
    SELL EVERYTHING OFF –
    THE POLITICAL ARENA WILL THEN BE THE OBLIGING SERVICE PROVIDERS OF ANYONE WHO WILL THROW THEM A BONE OR A CRUST OF OLD BREAD TO CHEW ON.

    • can you refrain from writing in capital letters, please? this is considered ‘shouting’ on internet and we are not deaf.

    • Australia is a separate case R. Davies, it is too far for Troika and ECB to switch off the electricity. Remember Greece’s bank controls in July? You want to risk more “punishment”?