The huge gap between the positions of the government and the creditors’ technical staff on the issue of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and its retail activity will have to be resolved at the political level, according to sources.
The Greek side entered talks with three alternative scenarios regarding DEPA’s withdrawal from the retail gas market, where it controls 51 percent of the gas providers of Attica and of Thessaloniki-Thessaly. The creditors’ demand to that effect had simply been put on hold during the previous bailout review and it was known it would return to the table now.
What Athens did not expect was that the creditors would be adamant about the immediate withdrawal of DEPA, and without any compensation, which has generated the first obstacle in negotiations to date and is seen as one of the main stumbling blocks in the overall talks for the third review.
The three Greek proposals were rejected as insufficient, as the creditors are insisting that DEPA cannot – in the context of a new, liberalized market – be a wholesaler, a local provider stakeholder and an autonomous retail supplier at the same time.