Gov’t can­not avoid sale of PPC plants

Kathimerini English - - Focus - CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

The gov­ern­ment is seek­ing a new line of de­fense against pres­sure from the coun­try’s cred­i­tors for a writ­ten com­mit­ment re­gard­ing the sale of 40 per­cent of Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion’s lig­nite and hy­dro­elec­tric plants.

Last Tues­day the cred­i­tors made it clear to En­ergy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis that the power auc­tions pro­moted by his pre­de­ces­sor, Panos Sk­ourletis, can­not meet the tar­get of re­duc­ing PPC’s mar­ket share be­low 50 per­cent by the end of 2019.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Sk­ourletis plan has led PPC and the elec­tric­ity mar­ket in gen­eral to a dead end, leav­ing the gov­ern­ment with no lee­way for ne­go­ti­a­tion. In its ef­fort to avoid com­mit­ting to the sale of PPC’s pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, Athens re­sorted to pre­sent­ing the plan pre­pared over the last few months by the head of PPC Mano­lis Pana­gio­takis against the gov­ern­ment line in fa­vor of power auc­tions.

Con­se­quently Pana­gio­takis was in­vited on Thurs­day to present his pro­posal to the cred­i­tors – in Stathakis’s pres­ence – re­gard­ing the cre­ation of two sub­sidiary firms with PPC clients that would be sold to pri­vate in­vestors via a ten­der. How­ever, this is un­likely to be im­ple­mented, not only due to its le­gal prob­lems, which would re­quire time to be re­solved, but also due to the mar­ket’s prob­lems whose res­o­lu­tion de­mands struc­tural mea­sures.

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