NEWS

Coalition partners reach consensus on PPC

Top officials from both parties in the coalition government on Monday reached a compromise on plans to part-privatize the Public Power Corporation (PPC), heading off a burgeoning mini-crisis over the measure, one of a list of so-called prior actions demanded by the troika.

A bill outlining the reform foresees about a third of PPC’s production capacity and clientele splitting away to form a smaller rival company that will be sold to a private investor.

The legislation, which had been opposed by several PASOK deputies in regions where large power plants are located, had been due for submission in Parliament this week but is likely to be presented to MPs next week as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and other government officials have obligations outside Greece, sources said on Monday.

According to sources, the legislation that will be submitted to the House includes concessions to both employees, who will have their work contracts guaranteed for five years, and local residents, who will be prioritized in any recruitment drives. As for the procedure of selling the “small PPC” – as the rival firm has been dubbed – it will be overseen by the corporation itself and not by TAIPED, the country’s privatization fund.

The streamlining of the country’s biggest electrical power company is one of 12 prior actions that Greece must implement over the summer to secure two loan tranches worth 2 billion euros from international lenders.

Six of the 12 measures must be enforced by the end of next month, with the PPC overhaul in the second list of six.

Of the first six prior actions, two have been adopted already – a new law governing street markets and new zoning legislation. A list of third-party taxes is being revised. A code of conduct for MPs and ministers, which is aimed at curbing corruption, has yet to be finalized. And the Finance and Justice ministries are working on on an action plan for the collection of billions of euros in outstanding debts to the state.

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