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Greece Approves Power Plant Sales Despite Angry Protests

Greek lawmakers on Wednesday approved the sale of power stations by Greece’s dominant power utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) in spite of workers demonstrating by placing emptying sacks of coal outside parliament.

A majority of lawmakers voted in favor of the bill which paves the way for PPC to begin selling plants in May. It is a requirement of a multi-billion euro bailout accord between Greece and international lenders.

Earlier, angry workers protested against the proposed legislation. The protest was organized by PPC’s most powerful union GENOP-DEH, which kicked off rolling strikes this week.

In a list of demands sent to the PPC management, the union demands, the halting of the sale of two lignite plants, the return of 17% PPC stake from the Greek Privatization Fund HRASF to the state and the signing of a collective labor agreement.

Greece has agreed with its lenders to sell 40 percent of the coal-fired capacity of the PPC, which is majority state controlled.