Fear of political cost put brake on sell-off program

TAIPED chief says target of 3 billion euros is not feasible anymore By Vassilis Ziras

It was fear of the political cost that led the representatives of the PASOK, New Democracy and Popular Orthodox Rally parties on the governing board of the state privatizations fund (TAIPED) to suspend the implementation of its sell-off program until after the June elections, according to the fund?s head.

Executive director Costas Mitropoulos told Kathimerini in an interview that the decision has harmed the credibility of the fund, which according to the law is independent from the government, while it also renders the target of 3 billion euros in revenues nonfeasible for this year.

?Until very recently we believed that if a strong government were to emerge from the May election, we would still be able to bring in 3 billion euros by the end of the year. Now I do not see that happening. The chances of that are very small, minimal. Until today we had worked well, conducted three privatizations, while six were in the implementation phase and another three very close. But now the board has operated in a political way,? said Mitropoulos.