Cyprus Mail

SGO sell-off coming soon

By Peter Stevenson

THE GOVERNMENT will go ahead with the privatisation of semi-government organisations (SGOs) very soon because it is part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the troika, deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said yesterday.

Papadopoulos addressed reporters following the end of a meeting of the National Council on the economy at the presidential palace, headed by President Nicos Anastasiades.
“An in-depth, extremely useful exchange of views took place on major issues concerning future structural changes, especially on state health and social policies and on privatisations,” he said.

“It was agreed and decided that the National Council on the economy will have a substantial involvement in the formulation of ideas and decision-making as an advisory organ to the government,” he said.

Asked about the subject of social policies, the government spokesman said that council had told the president that it had examined the government’s suggestion of a guaranteed minimum income.

“The council completely agrees and favours the move as a very fair social measure,” he said. Papadopoulos was asked by reporters whether the privatisation of the three large SGOs, the Electricity Authority, the Telecommunications Authority and the Ports Authority, was on the agenda for discussion when the troika visits in October.

“They (privatisations) are an obligation of the MoU and very soon we will begin discussing the matter,” he replied.

Referring to the outcome of the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) AGM yesterday Papadopoulos said the government was closely monitoring the situation and said BoC was the main ‘steam engine’ of the island’s economy.

For that reason, he said, the bank needs to follow an upward trend in the coming months. “The government cannot get involved in a private organisation, in a private company, that for now falls under the jurisdiction of the resolution authority,” he concluded.

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