The reason behind the decision announced by Evangelos Venizelos in Parliament on Thursday to grant state gaming company OPAP an exclusive license for the operation of 35,000 videolotto machines (VLTs) under the supervision of the Finance Ministry is self-evident.
Greece?s socialist administration has obviously decided to bolster the value of the company so it can, at some point in the future, sell it at a higher price.
The minister did not come out and say so in Parliament, but this must be his intention. It would be disastrous if he were to yield to pressure from business interests or parties of the opposition that insist on perpetuating a corrupt and largely dysfunctional status quo.
Privatizing OPAP would confirm the government?s willingness and determination to overcome any resistance from organized interests in its campaign to shake up the system.
After all, the government has committed itself to those who have supported us by giving us yet another opportunity to save ourselves.