New energy minister holds first meeting with PPC board today

Last Friday’s leadership change at Greece’s energy ministry is expected to lighten the air between the top officials at the ministry and main power utility PPC following a deterioration of ties in more recent times, prompted primarily by the bailout-related measures designed to reduce the utility’s dominance in the Greek electricity market and generate competition.

Highlighting the recent rift, PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis did not attend a visit late last week by the just-replaced energy minister Panos Skourletis to PPC’s power stations and mines in the western Macedonian region of northern Greece. Panagiotakis also failed to show up at yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony for the new energy minister, Giorgos Stathakis, previously in charge at the Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Ministry. Skourletis, his predecessor, now heads the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Ties between Panagiotakis and Skourletis had become virtually hostile.

Stathakis, the new energy minister, is scheduled to meet today for the first time with the PPC chief and the utility’s administration following a board meeting at the utility.