PPC shareholders OK power grid stake privatization
Shareholders in dominant Greek power utility PPC on Monday agreed to sell a 24 percent stake in grid subsidiary ADMIE to a strategic investor, in line with the terms of the country’s latest international bailout.
Under the bailout approved in August last year, Public Power Corporation, which is 51 percent-owned by the state, must either sell a minority stake in ADMIE or fully privatize the grid by next year.
Monday’s overwhelming approval came amid stiff opposition from unions, who had disrupted an earlier attempt to convene a shareholders meeting, forcing PPC to switch the venue for the gathering to the Finance Ministry from a central Athens hotel.
Underlining the sentiment against privatizations in the country, union staff members also disrupted a meeting on the same issue on June 30.
“The legislation that has been enacted… aims to renationalize the grid. The only difference is it will be bought by a foreign state company,” the head of the PPC workers’ union, Giorgos Adamidis, told Reuters.
He added the sale would mean higher tariffs for Greek consumers and put PPC jobs at risk, adding that the union will take legal action at a top court to try to annul the divestment of the minority stake.
Workers walked out for three hours yesterday to protest the sale and government plans to transfer PPC and the grid to a new umbrella privatization fund.