After political row, verdict on Hellenic Defense Systems imminent

Experts appointed to advise the government on the future of state-owned Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) are due to meet with coalition officials on Monday to deliver their findings in what is becoming an increasingly sensitive political issue.

The panel of experts is expected to advise that the company, which employs 850 people, curtail its activities and be privatized. EAS lost more than 84 million euros in 2011. Those losses are expected to be reduced to 45 million this year.

However, its employees have not been paid in the last five months and a recent attempt by Deputy Defense Minister Fofi Gennimata to pass a legislative act granting them their salaries was blocked by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who wants a more comprehensive solution to be agreed. Sources said Gennimata was outraged by Stournaras’s action and considered quitting the government.

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