Though the finance ministry last night denied having discussed – a day earlier, via a teleconference, with the country’s creditor representatives – a reduction of the tax-free income bracket to 6,000 euros and the sale of a 17 percent stake of the main power utility PPC, reliable and cross-examined energypress sources asserted that such talks did take place and were leaked by the alternate finance minister Giorgos Houliarakis.
According to the leaked news, the creditors are applying pressure for the immediate sale of PPC’s 17 percent along with the surrender of the utility’s management. The same sources supported that certain government officials believe the entry of a strategic investor would reinvigorate PPC with fresh capital, needed to prevent the corporation’s financial collapse, now seen as an inevitable development if action is not taken.
PPC’s low market capitalization is acknowledged as a major disadvantage by the government officials favoring the entry of a strategic investor. However, these supporters of the plan are hopeful of an economic and, by extension, stock exchange turnaround by the time a tender offering PPC’s 17 percent is announced, possibly in spring or summer, and, more importantly, completed by the end of 2017.
PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis also made reference to the issue yesterday at a ceremonial company event for the New Year, according to the energypress source. Panagiotakis apparently told other utility officials that the sale of PPC’s 17 percent is not a crucial issue and should not be regarded as a catastrophic move.