EU Disputes Troika Wants Privatization Control

euro1111_473_355The European Union has denied a report that Greece’s international lenders – the EU, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank – want to put the country’s lagging privatization program in its hands and its headquarters moved from Athens to Luxembourg.

Media reports had claimed that the Troika wanted control of privatization because Greece has fallen woefully behind its targets to sell off state enterprises, including the gas agency DEPA, which didn’t draw a single bid when it was up on offer this summer.

“The ownership of this program is, and absolutely must remain, in the hands of the Greek government,” said European Commission spokesman Simon O’Connor, referring to Greece’s privatization program. Reports suggesting otherwise “have absolutely not been endorsed by the Commission or by the Eurogroup in any way” and they “have absolutely no status whatsoever,” O’Connor added.

He was referring to an unofficial report compiled by the Eurozone’s rescue fund known as the European Stability Mechanism. Sections of the report were leaked by the Financial Times, suggesting that Eurozone officials are considering establishing a company in Luxembourg to manage the sale of some 20 billion euros ($26.47 billion) Greek state assets.

The Troika initially estimated privatization could raise 50 billion euros ($66.19 billion) but ratcheted that down when the government failed to make much progress and had to replace two of the top executives of the privatization board over alleged ethics violations.

An ESM spokesman told Kathimerini that the report was “a background paper that is supposed to feed the discussion on the occasion of the Troika mission in Greece in September. “It is an internal paper as it has not been discussed or endorsed by the ESM governing bodies that represent the euro member states,” the spokesman said. The point of the report, he said, was “to maximize the value of state-owned real estate assets in Greece by making them more attractive for investors.”

O’Connor said the process of Greece’s privatization drive, and its efficiency, would be discussed during the next Troika review and stressed the significance of privatization revenue for curbing Greece’s debt.

His words were echoed later in the day by IMF spokesman Gerry Rice, who emphasized the importance of the program moving forward and Greece retaining its ownership.


  • Alex

    Nope.

    Line is drawn on this issue.

  • worldarts

    Do we need any further PROOF what diabolical plans these TROIKA and our Gov’t officials are up to? Even the EU Commission thought they were way out of hand, but our Gov’t was absolutely mute on the matter !
    WAKE UP PEOPLE! –before these banker criminals and IMF and ECB officials sell Greece off and make Slaves of us all!

  • worldarts

    SYRIZA made up by communist, Stalinist, Marxist, anarchist and murdering black block nationalizing our banks, stealing our money and flooding Greece with scum.

    Tsipras who cried at Hugo Chavez funeral and said that Fidel Castro was one of the great leaders wants to turn Greece into a third world hole in the image of the toilet states he idolizes.

  • Greek

    Is to late now

  • OscarG49

    Everything is worthless now there, it’s going to be like Mexico of the late 80’s, early 90’s and then it’s everyone else’s problem http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/rizkhan/2010/05/20105910144957657.html