Cyprus Mail

Greece says needs to step up privatisations

George Chouliarakis arrives for a news conference at the ministry in Athens, Greece May 26, 2016

Greece needs to step up its privatisation programme, deputy finance minister George Chouliarakis said on Wednesday.

Privatisations have been a main pillar of the country’s international bailouts since 2010 but have reaped only €3.4bn in revenues due to political resistance and red tape.

“A lot more needs to be done there, especially improving the business environment…be more assertive in advancing for direct investments, in accelerating the base of the privatisation programme,” Chouliarakis told a conference in Athens.

Greece aims to raise €4.4bn from the programme in 2017-18. Big tickets for this year include the sale of a 66 per cent stake in the country’s natural gas grid DESFA and a 67 per cent stake in its second biggest port Thessaloniki.

The country’s privatisation agency is also seeking consultants on utilising the state shares in seven major companies, including power utility Public Power Corp, Athens International Airport and telecoms operator OTE.

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