BUSINESS

Gov’t cannot avoid sale of PPC plants

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Privatizations

The government is seeking a new line of defense against pressure from the country’s creditors for a written commitment regarding the sale of 40 percent of Public Power Corporation’s lignite and hydroelectric plants.

Last Tuesday the creditors made it clear to Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis that the power auctions promoted by his predecessor, Panos Skourletis, cannot meet the target of reducing PPC’s market share below 50 percent by the end of 2019.

The implementation of the Skourletis plan has led PPC and the electricity market in general to a dead end, leaving the government with no leeway for negotiation. In its effort to avoid committing to the sale of PPC’s production capacity, Athens resorted to presenting the plan prepared over the last few months by the head of PPC Manolis Panagiotakis against the government line in favor of power auctions.

Consequently Panagiotakis was invited on Thursday to present his proposal to the creditors – in Stathakis’s presence – regarding the creation of two subsidiary firms with PPC clients that would be sold to private investors via a tender. However, this is unlikely to be implemented, not only due to its legal problems, which would require time to be resolved, but also due to the market’s problems whose resolution demands structural measures.

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