Greece Won’t Manage to Sell All Assets Required in Aid Plan, Economou Says
Greece’s deputy finance minister, Pantelis Economou, said the country won’t manage to sell everything on its list of planned state-asset sales and real- estate developments.
“We will sell a lot less than planned,” he told lawmakers yesterday, according to a transcript posted on the Parliament’s website.
Greece aims to raise 50 billion euros ($69 billion) through asset sales and property developments by the end of 2015, part of a package of fiscal measures demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for financial support. Parliament approved the measures in two votes at the end of last month.
The 78 billion-euro medium-term package of measures and asset sales and an accompanying implementation law that contains technical details, “will be fully implemented” by all ministers, government spokesman Elias Mosialos said when asked about Economou’s comments, according to state-run Athens News Agency. Mosialos confirmed the report by phone today.
Greek bonds fell for a third day today, pushing the 10-year yield spread over German securities to 1,416 basis points. Finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss a further rescue package for Greece as they seek to halt contagion in the euro region.
“Selling state holdings to reduce Greece’s debt is a necessary condition to get what we are entitled to,” Economou told lawmakers. He added that eliminating tax evasion can “buy time” for Greece and help to meet revenue targets through 2015, according to the transcript.
The Finance Ministry announced the board of the agency that’s been set up to supervise the asset sales. The program includes plans to sell stakes in Public Power Corp SA (PPC) and gambling company Opap SA (OPAP), as well as Greece’s two biggest port operators and banks.
Economou said there isn’t enough investor interest in the assets for sale as “credit default swaps and spreads are the kinds of thing they have their eyes on.” Concrete assets are “riskier,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story Natalie Weeks in Athens Nweeks2@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at Acullen8@bloomberg.net