PPC union Genop calls for referendum on planned unit sales

The state-controlled power utility PPC’s main union group Genop wants the government to stage a referendum before proceeding with a bailout-required sale of utility production units.

In comments offered to energypress, Genop boss Giorgos Adamidis noted that such a PPC-related request is not unprecedented. He reminded that the Syriza party, the coalition’s chief partner, had demanded a referendum in 2014 while still an opposition party, for the then-government’s plan to part-privatize PPC.

Syriza does not have the right to adopt PPC’s future as a key party policy when in opposition and then, once in power, neglect the issue, the Genop chief supported.

The power utility’s future is an issue that needs to be decided by the people, not one political party, Adamidis stressed.

“The sale of corporations of strategic importance is not a simple administrative act, especially when involving crucial facilities for production and distribution of basic needs [electricity and water], such as PPC’s carbon-fired and hydropower stations,” the Genop boss noted. “All administrations are obligated to hold referendums [on such issues].”

Genop’s general contact, around the country, with voters representing the wider political spectrum has indicated a broad opposition to the potential sale of PPC production units, the union boss argued in support of Genop’s demand for a referendum.

A market test planned for September, its intention being to measure the level of investor interest in PPC’s carbon-fired units, will not draw sufficient interest and, as a result, hydropower units will need to be added to the utility’s sale package, Genop anticipates.

At this stage, it appears that the country’s lenders want about 40 percent of PPC’s carbon-fired units to be included in the sales package.

Genop plans to intensify its initiatives against the sale plan and culminate action from September onwards.