BUSINESS

Gov’t has two weeks to prevent the full privatization of ADMIE

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

The crucial extraordinary general meeting of Public Power Corporation (PPC) for the ratification of the complex plan for the separation of grid operator ADMIE from the utility is set to be postponed again on Tuesday, as a number of important technical and legal parameters have to be settled first before the agreement reached with the banks last week can take shape.

The postponement, which has already been decided on a political level, will likely push the general meeting’s new date back two weeks. This decisive period is set to determine to a great extent the fate of the controversial plan for the country’s network to remain under the state’s control, following a series of amendments of dubious legality. This comes after a letter written by the country’s four systemic banks last week highlighted the disastrous consequences such a decision would have on PPC.

Besides the legal and technical matters that must be covered for the completion of the agreement with the lenders, the government will also have to offer guarantees to all parties concerned within the next two weeks, including its eurozone peers and the China State Grid to whom it has agreed to concede a 24 percent stake in ADMIE.

Crucially, Athens will have to convince its creditors that the plan can be completed within the agreed – and tight – timetable to avoid triggering the clause that provides for the 100 percent privatization of ADMIE within January.

The first official response on the issue from Brussels is set to come on Thursday, during a visit to Athens by European Commissioner for Energy Miguel Arias Canete, when he will meet with Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

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