State control of PPC, IPTO needed, PM tells Parliament

Setting out his policy priorities in Parliament on Monday night, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared the government will resist lender demands with counterplans, including ones intended to maintain the state’s control of main power utility PPC and its subsidiary firm IPTO, the power grid operator.

During the session, held just hours after Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos had met with Eurozone peers in Luxembourg to discuss requirements that need to be legislated in Greece for bailout money, Tsipras insisted that the state needs to remain dominant in the energy sector. A realistic plan with this in mind will be handed over to the country’s lenders, he told Parliament.

Tsipras also noted a new state-run development bank will be established to reinforce the country’s energy, tourism, shipping, agricultural, and industrial sectors.

The Prime Minister, whose coalition was re-elected just over a fornight ago, said his government will resume its effort to revive the Greek economy by seeking to overcome difficulties and establish foundations for a “new Greece” of growth, without bailout dependance and creditor supervision, by the end of the government’s four-year mandate.

Tsipras, who described the fresh mandate as an order for stability over a four-year period, said his government’s objective to overcome the recession is attainable, while admitting challenges lie ahead.

The period of stability will need to be utilized to proceed with reforms required in Greece, Tsipras said. He described his main political opposition as representing the oligarchical establishment responsible for the situation the country finds itself in. “We will clash,” he stressed.

Tsipras also spoke of a new economic and production model to support employment, technology and innovation, and change public administration. “This is the only road towards the establishment of a sustainable economic and investment-friendly environment,” Tsipras noted. “This road is viable but not easy to cover.”