ECONOMY

Gov’t names head of privatization agency

Eurobank Equities executive Costas Mitropoulos has been appointed managing director of Greece’s privatizations agency.

The newly-established body is set to oversee billions of euros in asset sales, part of Greece’s efforts to avoid default and streamline its notoriously dysfunctional economy.

The government has pledged to raise 1.7 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in privatizations by September, as agreed with its foreign lenders — the European Union and the International Monetary Fund — who pulled Greece back from the brink of bankruptcy with a 110 billion-euro bailout a year ago.

Greece must deliver 50 billion euros in proceeds from an ambitious and complicated state selloff by 2015, including 5 billion this year. After 18 months in office, the George Papandreou administration has failed to launch any privatizations.

Next to Mitropoulos, who has until today chaired the investment arm of Greece’s second-largest lender EFG Eurobank, the Socialist government also picked law professor and former minister Yannis Koukiadis as board chairman.