Sk­ourletis blames EU for ‘fail­ure’ of DESFA deal

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

En­ergy Min­is­ter Panos Sk­ourletis ap­peared yes­ter­day in Par­lia­ment to take for granted the fail­ure of the pri­va­ti­za­tion of nat­u­ral gas trans­mis­sion net­work op­er­a­tor DESFA.

Sk­ourletis went as far as to ac­cuse the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion for scup­per­ing the deal, say­ing that Brus­sels not only forced Az­eri buyer So­car to slash its prospec­tive stake from 66 per­cent to 49 per­cent but also re­duced it to a pas­sive share­holder, with­out a say in the op­er­a­tor’s man­age­ment.

Sk­ourletis re­sponded to ac­cu­sa­tions from the op­po­si­tion that he was re­spon­si­ble for tor­pe­do­ing the deal, say­ing that the agree­ment had failed be­fore he took over at the min­istry, and even claimed that its con­sti­tuted a “ma­jor scan­dal.”

Op­po­si­tion MPs ar­gued that the min­is­ter is re­spon­si­ble for depriv­ing the econ­omy of 400 mil­lion eu­ros – the price of the trans­ac­tion – and of 10 bil­lion eu­ros in fu­ture in­vest­ments by the Az­eri firm.

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