June 28, 2017 / 9:28 AM / 9 months ago

Greece says needs to step up privatisations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece needs to step up its privatisation programme, deputy finance minister George Chouliarakis said on Wednesday.

George Chouliarakis arrives for a news conference at the ministry in Athens, Greece May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Privatisations have been a main pillar of the country’s international bailouts since 2010 but have reaped only 3.4 billion euros in revenues due to political resistance and red tape.

“A lot more needs to be done there, especially improving the business environment...be more assertive in advancing for direct investments, in accelerating the base of the privatisation programme,” Chouliarakis told a conference in Athens.

Greece aims to raise 4.4 billion euros (£3.89 billion)from the programme in 2017-18. Big tickets for this year include the sale of a 66 percent stake in the country’s natural gas grid DESFA and a 67 percent stake in its second biggest port Thessaloniki (OLTr.AT).

    The country’s privatisation agency is also seeking consultants on utilising the state shares in seven major companies, including power utility Public Power Corp. (DEHr.AT), Athens International Airport and telecoms operator OTE (OTEr.AT).

    Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, writing by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by Ed Osmond

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