PPC unionists protest selloff plans

The union representing employees of the Public Power Corporation, Genop, have railed against plans by the government to sell off electricity plants or a stake of the enterprise as part of an ambitious privatization scheme.

?History will judge harshly those who sell PPC to the lowest bidder,? Genop said in a written statement issued late Thursday and called on the management of PPC ?to defend the enterprise by highlighting all the financial data that demonstrate its value so that the Greek people understand what PPC is and what it is that they are trying to sell.?

?The scenario of selling power plants is simply aimed at facilitating the private interests to which PASOK has committed itself,? Genop?s statement added.

Earlier this week Environment and Energy Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou suggested that the government may sell some of PPC?s hydroelectric or lignite-powered plants while also looking for a strategic investor although there has been no confirmation yet regarding the form that a PPC selloff would take.

According to some experts, selling off some of PPC?s hydroelectric or lignite-powered plants would bring in more revenue than the sale of a stake in PPC and would more effectively deregulate the electricity market as it would break the state?s monopoly in the sector. The state would still retain a 51 percent controlling stake in PPC in this alternative scenario.

Genop, one of the country?s most powerful unions, has vowed to block the privatization of PPC, arguing that such a move will send electricity bills sky high, and is planning fresh protest action.