The newly sworn in Greek coalition government is committed to restarting the economy, restoring confidence and boosting its reform credentials by taking action on long stalled privatizations. To succeed, it will have to move quickly, face down blackmail and convince mainstream citizens.
In 2010 Greece committed to a 50 billion europrivatization target which has remained close to frozen. This year it will even miss its modest targeted 3.2 billion euro goal and won’t raise more than 500 million euro from the sale of the Olympic Games site and the state-owned lottery. A lack of political stability, a tarnished international image and the obstacles of byzantine bureaucracy are being blamed.
But the country can no longer afford excuses or policy cowardice . Privatizations are not just necessary for immediate revenues to plug holes and pay down some debt, but to kick start growth and jobs and give fresh momentum to Greece’s business reputation.
The tripartite coalition which is still finding its uneasy equilibrium includes conservative New Democracy, socialist Pasok and moderate Democratic Left. During this sweltering summer they have hammered out a new policy that seeks to conclude 28 privatizations in 2013. These will include many prime real estate holdings including the Hellenikon plot, betting companies, refiners, utilities, post offices and infrastructure like roads, marinas and airports.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page