A top Greek court has blocked the planned privatization of the country’s biggest water utility, the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP), the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) has reported, on the grounds the sale could put public health at risk.
The government had been planning to sell a substantial stake in Athens Water (EYDAP) to private investors under the terms of Greece’s bailout by its foreign lenders – the European Union and the International Monetary Fund – but the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, ruled the sale would be unconstitutional because it might put public health at risk, AMNA reported, with concerns water quality could deteriorate under private control.
“We are awaiting the ruling to assess its possible impact on the privatization,” an official from the country’s privatization agency said on condition of anonymity.
The government holds a 61 percent stake in EYDAP, with a further 27 percent floating on the Athens Exchange, where EYDAP has a value of 984 million euros.
A fund run by billionaire investor John Paulson revealed earlier this month it was holding a 10 percent stake of the company.