MPs hit out at pending OTE deal

Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said Deutsche Telekom will help OTE telecom be better prepared for a growingly competitive European market as the conservatives faced criticism over the expected deal in Parliament yesterday. The government has been in talks with Deutsche Telekom since March over selling part of its 28 percent stake in OTE and handing over management control in the former monopoly. Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Alekos Alavanos, who began addressing Parliament in German before switching to Greek, said government plans to sell OTE will stigmatize the country for the next 100 years. Large European countries such as France and Germany have kept control of their sensitive telecoms sectors, added Alavanos. A possible sale agreement of OTE to Deutsche Telekom will need to be ratified by Parliament, responded Alogoskoufis. «We wanted a big European group with know-how to secure the future of OTE. The telecoms sector is open to competition and OTE must be strong in this environment,» he added. «In an environment of converging technologies in Europe, the strategic partnership (with Deutsche Telekom) is a good solution.» PASOK leader George Papandreou described the deal as a scandal that is taking place at the cost of the country.