State is determined to keep a minimum 33.4-pct stake in OTE

The state has no plans to offload its 41.7-percent stake in OTE, maintaining only a golden share in the telecoms operator, Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis stressed yesterday. «I have stated explicitly that there is no issue regarding a golden share. The state will retain [a stake] of at least 33.4 percent as set out in the relevant legislation,» he said in a statement. Verelis’s comments came after media reports quoted financial manager Dimitris Kouvatsos as telling Deutsche Bank executives that the state plans to sell its holding in OTE and keep only a golden share. The minister said OTE executives have denied discussing this issue. He said in any case, the decision belongs to the state as the principal shareholder and does not concern OTE employees. Verelis did not specify when and how the state plans to cut its current holding down to the blocking stake of 33.4 percent. Aluminium of Greece has been the country’s largest power consumer since being set up in the early 1960s; critics have often charged that the rates at which it obtains the electricity from PPC are too low.

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