BUSINESS

Skourletis blames EU for ‘failure’ of DESFA deal

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Privatizations, Energy

Energy Minister Panos Skourletis appeared on Monday in Parliament to take for granted the failure of the privatization of natural gas transmission network operator DESFA.

Skourletis went as far as to accuse the European Commission for scuppering the deal, saying that Brussels not only forced Azeri buyer Socar to slash its prospective stake from 66 percent to 49 percent but also reduced it to a passive shareholder, without a say in the operator’s management.

Skourletis responded to accusations from the opposition that he was responsible for torpedoing the deal, saying that the agreement had failed before he took over at the ministry, and even claimed that its constituted a “major scandal.”

Opposition MPs argued that the minister is responsible for depriving the economy of 400 million euros – the price of the transaction – and of 10 billion euros in future investments by the Azeri firm.

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