Public Power Corporation (PPC) chief Manolis Panagiotakis stepped down on Wednesday as chairman and chief executive officer of troubled state utility, tendering his resignation to new Energy Minister Costis Hatzidakis, saying that his decision aims to “make it easier for the government to implement its policy.”
According to the ministry, Hatzidakis thanked Panagiotakis for his years of service at PPC and especially for efforts after an agreement between the previous SYRIZA-led government and the country’s creditors reduced the power utility’s market share without any economic compensation. The minister also asked the executive to stay on until a successor is appointed.
Panagiotakis briefed the minister on the situation at PPC and vowed to continue monitoring developments and to work with the political leadership regarding the issues that are an immediate priority for PPC, until he is replaced.
The Energy Ministry is already in the process of seeking a new head for Greece’s electricity giant. The replacement will have to be conducted by the state asset utilization super-fund, which must also replace five state-appointed PPC board members whose mandate expired on Wednesday.
Given the time required for the appointment of a new management at PPC – 21 days from the moment the super-fund calls for an extraordinary general meeting of the utility – the the Panagiotakis administration will have to take measures aimed at saving PPC from bankruptcy.
The immediate application of the PPC redemption plan constitutes a top priority for the government and the Energy Ministry, and was among the first issues that were addressed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as he assumed duty.
Although what the plan entails has not been made public, it will certainly include measures to boost to PPC’s cash flow as soon as possible and to increase its revenues on a long-term basis so as to make the corporation sustainable again. A streamlining and restructuring plan will follow so as to also honor the company’s commitments to the European Commission regarding its market share.