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The Greek Privatization Agency will be managed from Brussels, foreigners will supervise the key ministries

15 May 2011 / 15:05:58  GRReporter
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Desperate from the indecisiveness of the government of George Papandreou, the experts from the supervisory troika are considering limitation of the national sovereignty and the involvement of foreign technocrats in the government of the country. The Greek state to be deprived of the right itself to manage its property and the Privatization Agency to be headquartered in Brussels and managed by a foreign technocrat are suggesting  Poul Thomsen, a representative of the International Monetary Fund, Klaus Masuch – representative of the European Central Bank and Matthias Morse from the European Commission. The agency has been writhing for months in labor and its birth, never occurred.
    Three experts insist that the Greek state does not take part in the privatization and that for the privatization the signatures of the Greek ministers should not be necessary. Thus on one side the procedure will be faster, and on the other there will be no danger of corruption. Decisions will be taken by a team of experts. Representatives of the creditors believe that the privatization program of the government isn’t moving ahead, it is too general and there is no trace of ambition. The original intention for the privatization program to be part of the updated Memorandum between Greece and the troika is now considered to be an inadequate guarantee. Experts see how many of the set  in the current Memorandum commitments of the Greek government remained only on paper.
    Revenues from the privatization are expected to be at least 50 billion euros to be allocated for the repayment of the Greek debt by buying back government bonds at a price lowered by about 30-40 percent of their current value. This mechanism is expected to sharply reduce the value of the Greek spread-indicator.
    According to the Sunday edition of the newspaper Vima withdrawal of the management of the Agency, as well as the additional cost cutting worth 10 billion euros for 2011 so as for Greece to reach the desired budget deficit are the two conditions which the troika has laid down as obligatory for the Government. What is currently being negotiated with the Office of George Papandreou is the new Memorandum to be voted by Parliament with an absolute majority of 180 votes, so that in case of elections and change of the government, those coming in power to be obliged to implement it. If this proposal is adopted, it would mean that the troika accepts the risk of early elections and calls on the entire political system of Greece to take responsibility for an eventual crash of the country. The leader of the opposition New Democracy Antonis Samaras has openly stated he would not support a new Memorandum and new measures before the elections.
    The scent of elections comes from the belief of the team of Ministers of Papandreou, that greater cost reductions are not possible without the closure of state institutions, mass dismissals of civil servants and a new package of reductions of wages and pensions. The troika is clear that medium term economic program, which aimed at a surplus in the budget in 2015 is not specific and does not win any confidence. The opinion becomes widely spread that in order for things to start going as they should in the ministries should be appointed foreigners supervisors who will monitor on daily basis the work and will have the rank of permanent Deputy Minister following the UK experience.
    Poul Thomsen, Klaus Masuch and Mathias Morse will remain in Athens until Thursday and they do not conceal their disappointment that Greece has failed in all the major objectives of the Program for fiscal consolidation. They openly declare that they will not give their consent for the payment of the next installment of the 110-billion euros loan to Greece, if Parliament does not support the updated Memorandum with an absolute majority. This means that the troika will pay only the interest on the bonds whose maturity expires in June and will leave the government of PASOK to seek alone money for salaries and pensions.

Tags: privatization troika Brussels Greek debt economic crisis Memorandum elections
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