Greece reveals privatisation plans

Government officials in Greece met to kick off their privatisation plan in order to raise €3bn in the next three years. The country has already started considering the sectors to be targeted for privatisation.

The Greek government has committed itself to have a privatisation plan ready by end of the year to raise at least €1 billion annually from 2011 to 2013 in order to help pay off its huge debt. The target was agreed under a €110 billion rescue plan with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. 

Reports suggest that the government is considering starting processes immediately for the privatisation of state railway OSE, state-controlled nickel producer Larco and various real estate assets.

Work might also proceed on the sale of state gas monopoly DEPA, Athens International Airport and unnamed water companies.

Greece is facing the huge task of reducing its deficit from more than 13 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 to less than 3 percent by 2014. It is embarking upon a radical restructuring of the economy to free up competition and reduce the role of the state.

Raising €3 billion through privatisation in the next three years will contribute little to Greece’s debt of €310 billion, but the state will also make savings by wiping out loss-making firms and boosting competition in the economy.