Thursday, June 09, 2011

Greece's largest oil refinerer added to list for EU theft - Greek cabinet meeting delayed!

The update from Reuters with the latest developments is linked here.

Some further quotes on the Greek Privatisation package from the site linked earlier on the post immediately below, and again from here:

It’s the assets stupid 

Greece is fortunate enough, according again to the IMF, in the sense that its government ‘has an extraordinary portfolio of assets.’ That is true. The Greek government owns (wholly or partly) the nation’s banks, airports, railroads, water companies, postal services, telephone company, power company, gas company, gambling monopoly, casino’s and electric power generation and distribution company, to name a few. If not sold immediately, then it could at the very least be a very valuable collateral for new emergency loans the country is most likely to need in the future.
But will the sale of those assets really solve anything in the long run? While it could solve the financial trouble, it would most likely cause another, much deeper problem in Europe.


Just think for a second about this privatization proposal. As an economist I support privatization of a large number of the aforementioned companies, as I think they would be more efficient in private hands. But this Greek privatization wave is c.q. would be forced upon the Greek people. Chances are that the new owners would become companies from the same sectors from other European countries. Deutsche Telecom for example already owns 30 percent of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization and I am sure would be more than willing to expand its share.

Let us approach this subject from another angle. If you are from France, Belgium, Finland or the Netherlands, how would your feeling towards Europe and European integration change if Europe would force your government to sell the electric power giant EDF or Aeroports de Paris, the telecom company Belgacom, airline Finnair, Finland Post, or Schiphol Group (owner of airports in Amsterdam, Rotterdam/the Hague and Eindhoven)? Moreover, assume that the proceeds would fall short of the real value, because the interested parties know that they must be sold or else… (fire sale)? I would say you would be infuriated at the very least. And your support for European integration, European Union and the euro would melt faster than a snowball taken inside a warm house.

The same, of course, applies to the Greek people. They would feel cheated, to put it in neat terms.

Finally, summing it all up for us this morning is John Ward's brillianr post "If only ecoli could kill the EU", linked here.



Blogger Whistle said...

I thought that privatisation of our infrastructure had already happened.EDF is Energy Du France and is raking in profits,the same as the water companies etc.

4:45 PM  

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