Tougher days lie ahead, GEK Terna CEO warns

The newly emerged market conditions created by the capital controls imposed in Greece mean that “today will be easier than the difficult days [that lie ahead],” Giorgos Peristeris, the CEO at the GEK Terna Group, whose activities include energy and construction, warned at a general shareholder’s meeting today, without going into great detail.

However, he did note that the Greek state, which owes GEK Terna a total of 400 million euros for work completed, has stopped making payments to all companies for public-sector projects.

Commenting on Ptolemaida 5, a prospective PPC power station planned for Ptolemaida, northern Greece, to involve the group, Peristeris noted that a construction permit is expected to be issued this week, based on information received until last Friday.

The corporate group’s chief official also noted that a deal between Greece and lenders, which had been hoped for until last Friday, would have ensured the provision of funds from the European Investment Bank, offering respite to local companies. These amounts would have partially covered amounts expected from the Greek state for projects being developed, he noted.

Asked to comment on whether work on various road projects would once again be halted as a result of the latest developments, Peristeris replied that banks were totally in charge on this front.

“The bank closures and capital controls will create extremely difficult conditions for companies and impact the transaction activities of citizens,” Peristeris noted. “We cannot imagine the prospect of a return to the drachma.”