IPTO sale avoided by alternative measures, Tsipras argues

The Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras, speaking at last night’s debate ahead of this Sunday’s Greek elections, defended his recent decision to sign Greece’s latest bailout agreement, noting, among other things, that his government managed to not buckle under the pressure of creditors on demands concerning the main power utility PPC and IPTO, the power grid operator.

Asked why he wanted to head the next government in order to implement a bailout agreement that may not be negotiable, Tsipras responded by contending the deal remains an interactive process that is subject to further discussion on several significant issues kept open by his government.

The Syriza leader cited his party’s debt reduction effort, privatization fund terms, labor laws, non-performing loans and protection of property owners, as well as the struggle to maintain state control of PPC and IPTO, as matters all still being negotiated.

Elaborating on IPTO, locally acronymed ADMIE, Tsipras stressed that solutions offsetting the need to privatize the power grid operator could be found. He was challenged on the matter by main opposition New Democarcy party leader Vaggelis Meimarakis.

Tsipras said voters will need to choose whether they want a government that is prepared to battle for better bailout terms or a submissive one that will offer no resistance to creditor demands.