ECONOMY

Privatizations can ease pain for recession-hit Greeks, report says

Greece?s 50-billion-euro privatization program could help bring a stronger return to economic growth, utilise assets suffering from low productivity and benefit Greeks reeling from the recession, according to a report published by Alpha Bank on Thursday.

Critics of the recently announced plan, scheduled to run to 2015, argue that it will result in the country’s assets being dumped onto the market at low recession-hit prices, prompting a government rethink on the scheme, according to sources.

Alpha Bank said the sell-off program could help boost sentiment, contribute to a rebound in different industries and lead to stronger economic growth next year, while also reducing the budget deficit and debt levels.

“Given the situation Greece is currently in, these developments could be a blessing and relief for the people that are suffering from the tough austerity measures,» it said.

Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou described the 50-billion-euro target as «being realistic» but has yet to detail how the money will be raised.