Na­tion­al­iza­tions & Ger­man probes in Greek plan: re­port

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Greece had a con­tin­gency plan in the event of be­ing forced by cred­i­tors into a dis­or­derly de­fault, which in­cluded na­tion­al­iza­tions and a cor­rup­tion probe tar­get­ing Ger­man com­pa­nies, a Greek news­pa­per re­ported Satur­day.

Efimerida Ton Syn­tak­ton daily said the plan — al­luded to by Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras in par­lia­ment on Fri­day — was de­signed “to raise the cost of rup­ture” for Greece’s cred­i­tors.

“In bas­ket­ball terms, the gov­ern­ment would ap­ply ‘pres­sure de­fense,’” the daily said.

Cit­ing gov­ern­ment sources, the news­pa­per said the plan in­cluded na­tion­al­iz­ing Greece’s gam­ing mo­nop­oly OPAP — which was pri­va­tized in 2013 — in ad­di­tion to toll pro­ceeds from highways and the coun­try’s big­gest bridge.

Athens would also in the plan step up cor­rup­tion probes on prom­i­nent Ger­man com­pa­nies ac­tive in Greece in­clud­ing Siemens, Lidl, Al­lianz, MAN and Hochtief.

Ger­many, which has shoul­dered the l argest share of Greece’s bailouts since 2010, has been among the harsh­est crit­ics of the na­tion’s re­form ef­forts over the past five years.

And Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble has in the past pub­licly sug­gested a tem­po­rary Greek exit from the euro.

The Greek gov­ern­ment de­clined to com­ment on Satur­day’s re­port.

Tsipras on Fri­day told par­lia­ment that he had au­tho­rized then fi­nance min­is­ter Yanis Varoufakis to pre­pare a “de­fense plan” in the event of Greece be­ing forced to leave the euro.

“I per­son­ally gave the or­der to pre­pare a team to pre­pare a de­fense plan in case of emer­gency,” Tsipras said, with­out go­ing into de­tail on what the plan en­tailed.

“If our cred­i­tors were pre­par­ing a Grexit plan, should we not have pre­pared our de­fenses?” Tsipras asked, re­fer­ring to the sce­nario of Greece ex­it­ing the eu­ro­zone.

But he in­sisted that his ad­min­is­tra­tion “did not have, and never pre­pared, plans to take the coun­try out of the euro.”

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