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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-06-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece to launch new tender for privatisation of DEPA

  • [01] Greece to launch new tender for privatisation of DEPA

    The Greek government will launch a new tender for the privatisation of DEPA, Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Asimakis Papageorgiou said on Monday .

    Speaking to reporters, Papageorgiou said he was speaking as government spokesman and noted he did not know the reasons behind Gazprom's decision not to submit a formal offer for DEPA.

    He stressed that, according to sources in Moscow, the Russian company probably saw that the European Commission would place strict terms for the purchase of DEPA. He noted, however, that Gazprom did not notify the government of the reasons for its decision.

    The Greek minister said it was a good development that Socar, the Azeri natural gas company, had submitted an offer for DESFA. "If the offer is good, as we believe it is, it will boost both the possibilities of implementing a TAP natural gas pipeline project and the country's geopolitical role in Southeastern Europe," Papageorgiou said.

    "What matters is that privatisations and particularly enterprises of strategic importance should proceed in accordance with European rules and directives and serve the country's interests in the long-term," he said.

    Commenting on a Gazprom spokesman's statement alleging that the Russian company did not get adequate guarantees over private customers' debt to DEPA, Papageorgiou said that all candidates were offered a full list of debts and measures taken to safeguard collection of debt, while he noted that there was risk in all freemarkets and that there was no market with state guarantees.

    Papageorgiou did not offer any details over when a new tender will be launched, but said that the new tender will be made in much better conditions.

    He said that negotiations with Gazprom over natural gas supplies' prices will continue, that the government will re-examine timetables over the privatisation of Hellenic Petroleum and finally that the government will discuss a goal on privatisation proceeds with the troika.

    Gazprom pulls out of DEPA tender, citing inadequate guarantees

    Gazprom had earlier announced its decision not to participate in the DEPA tender, saying it had not received adequate guarantees that the Greek company's finances would not deteriorate by the time the purchase was completed, according to the ANA-MPA correspondent in Moscow.

    Gazprom's spokesman Sergei Kuprianov told reporters that the process of closing the deal for DEPA, following completion of the tender, could last around one year and that the company "is already experiencing serious problems with non-payments of consumers."

    "It is facing a restructuring with the spinning off of Desfa (Greece's gas grid operator), and the participants in the tender received no guarantees that the state regulation of Depa wouldn't worsen," he added.

    All these created significant risks, affecting the value of company, Gazprom's spokesman said, adding that "the value of the deal was proposed to be finalized now without taking in mind all these factors".

    He noted that it was for these reasons that Gazprom decided not to submit a formal offer for DEPA.


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