Nationalizations & German probes in Greek plan: report
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.”