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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou critical of possible OTE deal

  • [01] Papandreou critical of possible OTE deal

    In his first public appearance after a cycling accident roughly two weeks ago, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Wednesday accused the government of having a policy on privatisations that did not befit a member of the European Union.

    During a speech to PASOK's Parliamentary group, Papandreou was especially critical of the deal currently being negotiated between the government and Deutsche Telekom (DT) for the management of the state-run telephony utility Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE).

    "Greece is the only country in the European Union that has sallied forth onto the global market and put everything on the block. This is a policy that does not befit Greece, or any other country of the European Union," he said in criticism of the OTE deal.

    He stressed that the government was essentially handing OTE over to the German state sector and spoke of a "breach of faith scandal against the country" that had started when New Democracy passed laws abolishing safeguards against a hostile takeover bid for OTE via the stock market, such as the law requiring the state to retain 33 percent of OTE shares and another blocking private shareholders from the rights to more than 5 percent of the company.

    Replying to accusations that PASOK was "statist", meanwhile, he noted that PASOK was no more statist than the Germans that were currently in the process of buying out OTE's management, given that German company was still subject to extensive state regulation.

    He claimed that the deal would convert OTE into a "state-run German vehicle for expansion in the Balkans" and that Greece would thus be denying itself the same opportunity and giving it as a gift to the German government.


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