OPINION

Commentary

The shift to the policy of privatization which has been heralded, albeit without much clarity, by the government’s new economic officials is a positive move – and not just because it is a pragmatic one. The sale of a larger or smaller share of the stock market capital of selected public corporations had reached its reasonable limits. But even in cases where the listing on the stock market has just begun, as in the case of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), the procedure should carry on with the aim of carrying out a complete transformation, if not in the composition of shares, then definitely in the selection and the management methods of the administration. Hence, if the government is determined to reduce its share in the big public corporations, then it should also be prepared to accept that politicians – ministers, deputies and party officials – will also see a decline in their power. This, however, does not mean that the new management boards – whether they have been selected by shareholders or with the consent of the state, which will often maintain a regulatory role, as the sole shareholder – will have to make decisions according to the sole criterion of maximizing shareholder benefit. However, all big corporations, whether they are purely private or former public corporations, have the same responsibilities to society. Even if assuring capital gains for shareholders is the fundamental criterion of managers’ success, the creation of jobs, the development of new technologies, and the protection of the environment are equally important criteria of success. We can shape a new monitoring framework. But we have to make sure that the new supervisory model will be better than the old statist model. It is an open and complex model, as shown by its characteristics, some of which are: reinforcement of independent regulatory authorities, substantial control by parliamentary committees, pragmatic intervention by unions, a far-sighted local administration and, finally, an informed and moderate citizen.