Privatizations facing reshape amid political developments

Plans for Greece’s energy-sector privatizations are now up in the air following last night’s announcement by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of national elections, expected June 30, while other crucial matters, such as CAT mechanism remuneration eligibility for power utility PPC’s new Ptolemaida V power station, could also be blocked by the political developments.

The sales of PPC lignite units and a stake of Hellenic Petroleum PPC, both already delayed, will now grind to a halt and await the country’s next administration for renegotiation with the lenders.

If, for example, the main opposition New Democracy party wins the June election, it will most likely not implement law requiring a company split at gas utility DEPA and sales of stakes in the procedure’s resulting entities, DEPA Trade and DEPA infrastructure. The ND party could instead return to the original DEPA privatization plan that had envisioned the sale of a 65 percent stake.

The Hellenic Petroleum ELPE privatization will also be reexamined by ND, within the framework of post-bailout terms, if the party is elected into power, as its performance in the European elections strongly suggest.

As for state-controlled PPC’s sale of lignite units, the ruling Syriza party will most likely extend tomorrow’s binding bids deadline for after the elections.