PPC urged to end delays with RWE

The Greek state, a major shareholder in the Public Power Corporation (PPC), urged the company’s board yesterday to end months of speculation over a pending cooperation deal with Germany’s RWE which has been blocked by union protests. The electricity utility has entered into talks with RWE as part of its modernization plans, but has yet to clinch a deal due to union opposition, which has halted board meetings called to sign off on final agreements with the German company. «I have heard about (a possible cooperation agreement between PPC and RWE) for months,» Development Minister Christos Folias told Reuters. «We have been hearing about RWE, but have not seen anything yet.» PPC’s talks with RWE have focused on the possible construction of coal-powered electricity plants with total capacity of 1,600 MW, the purchase of wind turbines to meet peak summer demand for the 2008-2010 period, and possible cooperation in the natural gas and renewable energy markets. «Major listed companies must be flexible to negotiate. The managers must manage, and not the politicians,» Folias said. «Until now there has not even been a board decision by PPC on this.» PPC workers have blockaded buildings and occupied offices, forcing board members to meet at hotels, arguing the deal with RWE is a prelude to a further privatization of the company and calling on the government to block the deal. (Reuters)