Top-level meeting between minister, lenders for PPC

Newly appointed energy minister Costis Hatzidakis is expected to hold his first meeting with the country’s lenders either tomorrow or Friday for a session that should put to the test the minister’s plans for the future of the power utility PPC, currently struggling and incurring losses.

Initial reports had indicated the first round of talks – following the July 7 legislative election that brought the main opposition conservative New Democracy party into power – would be held between technocrats. But the opening session has been upgraded to a top-level meeting.

No commitments are expected to emerge from the opening session. Instead, Hatzidakis, the energy minister, will seek to get an idea as to where the country’s lenders stand on a new recovery plan for PPC envisioned by the government.

The PPC recovery plan will not be announced until its finalized shape has been agreed to between the Greek government and the country’s lenders. Though it remains unknown as to when this could be, the plan will certainly not be disclosed before the appointment of a new PPC chief executive.

Manolis Panagiotakis announced his resignation from the state-controlled power company’s top post shortly after the July 7 election.

Scheduled to take part at an Economist Conference in Athens today, the Greek energy minister is expected to highlight his concerns over PPC’s frail financial state; the need for a restructuring plan at the corporation; as well as the operating pressure faced by the grid, which Hatzidakis, dreading blackouts at the beginning of his tenure, has already described as being on the edge.