June 31, 2011
Privatization effort in transition while questions about "Troika" power lingers
This week an agreement is expected on on privatization (aka "The Medium Term Financial Strategy Framework") that will oversee the selling of various state assets and businesses to the private sector. With a € 12 billion euro installment hanging over the proceedings, it is a question of how much the Greek negotiators will give up in order to close the deal with the visiting IMF/eurozone officials now in Athens. Report on the english language side of eKathimerini newspaper online:
"The Greek government and the representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the troika, are nearing agreement on the details of the midterm fiscal plan and privatization program but several key stumbling blocks remain, sources told Kathimerini.
Among the issues still to be resolved is whether representatives of the troika will have seats on the independent committee that will oversee the sell-off of state assets and whether these places will come with veto powers."
Meanwhile, other people (Olli Rehn, the economic and monetary affairs commissioner in the European Union's executive Commission) are saying that Greece cannot possibly hit the € 50 billion euro privatization target set for 2011(At Reuters):
"We estimate that Greece cannot meaningfully privatize 50 billion euros worth of its assets in the course of the coming year, which represents more than 20 percent of its GDP..."
...He added that Greece had not made sufficient progress with its budget steps to allow it to return to the markets for financing in early 2012."
More about the Troika in Greece:
"Midterm" Troika plan passes Greek Parliament - June 2011
Questions about Troika Powers in Greece - June 2011