NEWS

Alternative OA plan if privatization fails

The government is preparing an alternative plan for Olympic Airlines if it fails to sell the company to private investors, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said in an interview to state television ERT yesterday. «We are trying to conclude the privatization, an endeavor which, certainly, has become more difficult after the European Commission’s decision,» Alogoskoufis said. «If this process can be brought to a conclusion, so much the better. If not, the government has an alternative plan, which is being prepared by the Ministry of Transport, in cooperation with the Privatizations Commission.» «We are at an extremely delicate stage and I do not think we can say anymore,» he added. Alogoskoufis is in Washington, attending the annual session of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A week ago, the European Commission decided that the state ought to recover a huge sum – estimated at 500 to 700 million euros in illegal subsidies – from the airline. The government has since moved to shield the airline from creditors but has not clarified whether it will challenge the Commission’s decision.