Government, creditors seeking common ground for IPTO plan

Despite some sense of panic generated yesterday, government officials and the country’s creditor representatives appear committed to finding a commonly acceptable solution for power grid operator IPTO’s breakaway from parent company PPC, the main power utility.

Greek officials have confirmed that the creditors tabled a request seeking “automatic procedures” leading to IPTO’s full privatization in the event that the Greek breakway plan fails to proceed according to schedule.

The plan entails transferring 51 percent of IPTO from PPC to the Greek State by the end of June, followed by the placement of 25 percent of the grid operator on the bourse and sale of the other 24 percent to a strategic investor.

Energy ministry sources yesterday ascertained that an amendment facilitating the “automatic procedures” requested by the international creditors would not be made, adding that the government has already met the IPTO-related demands of creditors and will not accept any unreasonable demands.

Although the two sides yesterday momentarily appeared to have been involved in a flare-up over IPTO, both now seem focused on finding common ground, which is expected soon. The government wants any suggestions of a full privatization of IPTO to be scrapped, while the creditors want protection should the complicated Greek plan fail to come through.

Greek officials believe the creditors will offer some leniency if the IPTO plan shows firm signs of progress but falls behind schedule by a few months.