OPINION

Play by market rules or not at all

Greeks continue to perceive the Public Power Corporation, OTE telecom and other public companies as charity foundations which are listed on the stock exchange simply as a matter of formality. But these are companies that are accountable to their shareholders and have a duty to be profitable, while their prices reflect market conditions. Sadly, we suffer under the illusion that if they were completely state-owned, like the Social Security Foundation (IKA), their products would be cheaper because they would be considered social services. But this is not how things work, because we, as taxpayers, end up paying a much heavier price for organizations such as IKA and Olympic Airlines through our taxes, which are used to cover their deficits. The country’s politicians should leave the heads of the Public Power Corporation and OTE to get on with their jobs – this is, after all, what is dictated by the rules of global competition.