The old politician welcomed the decision by the eurozone finance ministers to grant a new bailout to the country. He, however, added that the target of making the foreign debt 120.5% of GDP is not enough. "This will be so if all goes as it should. But I do not think that the debt will be sustainable even then. Let me recall that it was 120% of GDP in 2009 and that is where we have ended up today. My opinion is that there should be another cut by 2020 to reach the value of about 90% of GDP. Then the debt will be sustainable. To achieve this, our party suggests that not 100 but 400 thousand civil servants should be fired, and in 2012 - 100 not 15 thousand as stipulated in the memorandum. The only difference is that we suggest that they should be paid 70% of their gross salary for the first three years after their dismissal until they find new jobs. Our second proposal is a programme of mass sale of unused public property, or making it available to investors for long-term use." Stefanos Manos repeated his proposal that he had presented in an interview for GRReporter in November. He stressed that there are many ways to recovery if the state decides to remove all the obstacles that it itself has laid in the way of this process itself.
"Before I start my speech I would like to inform you that I am a supporter of the idea of selling much of the public property as soon as possible. These are things that I have publicly supported and implemented to some extent before they were demanded from Europe," said the economist Panagis Vourloumis, who privatized the Greek telecom company OTE several years ago. He said the goal of privatization should not just be concentrating resources but "saving the nation's wealth from poor management by the state and transferring it to owners who will endeavour to utilize and develop it. Of course, it is important to ensure the highest possible price, but no less important is the stability of the buyer and his ability to develop the acquired asset." He also stressed that the people who will be responsible for the negotiations must have complete and unconditional political support. At the same time, it is necessary to mobilize the public sector to reject bureaucratic obstacles and support procedures.
Panagis Vourloumis took on the role of an adviser to the selling government and the buying investor. In his opinion, the assessment of the proposed site should be assigned to special economic advisers, because experience shows that public services are not able to cope well with the task of making the property attractive to investors. "If the site is associated with specific national interests, there should be two advisers having the confidence of the state. I have witnessed how a few sales were suspended because even low-level employees boycotted them. When selling a company related to the common good, it must be ensured that the investor will provide services at competitive prices." Panagis Vourloumis’ advice to potential buyers of Greek public property is to thoroughly check the offered asset. "If it concerns a public enterprise, it is necessary to check the labour laws in the country and in the company in particular. And this, despite the abolition of the ban on civil servants dismissals. The fact is that public enterprises could be sold much more quickly and at a much higher price if they were offered without their employees, allowing the new owner to appoint the staff." In conclusion, he advised investors not to accept the conditions that force them to share the management with the state or trade unions.
For his part, the managing director of the fund for public property utilization Costas Mitropoulos said that the privatization programme in Greece will be late in giving results due to a number of technical problems specific to the real estate in the country. "Lately, I have been haunted by several myths that are bothering me. The first is the value of public property, on which no research has actually been conducted and all is based only on hope and national pride. We are not the preference of the international market and it will not turn to us soon if we ourselves do not start behaving differently. "
Another myth, according to him, is that investors are likely to arrive in droves and the only problem they face is bureaucracy. "Well, you should know that in actual fact there are no investors," he said, causing polite harassment to other participants in the discussion. Costas Mitropoulos said that the number of Greek government properties is between 70,000 and 110,000, most of them being problematic. "25% of 3.5 million acres have been given to other owners already. We cannot get these properties back because they are legally tied with the state and take precedence over privatization." The answer to this statement came from Stefanos Manos, who proposed the seizure of the property. "Let us see how many of the "owners" will come to claim their rights and what documents they will present," he said.
According to Costas Mitropoulos, the revenue from the programme of the fund will be 50% from property sales, 35% from infrastructure utilization and 15% from the sale of public enterprises and shares of companies with public participation, the goal being to raise 19 billion euro. Soon, the national Natural Gas System DEPA, the Administrator of the Natural Gas System DESFA, 35% of Hellenic Petroleum, 29 public properties and other buildings will be made available for sale.