New Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis didn’t waste any time on Wednesday announcing the new leftist government’s decision to scrap the privatization of the listed Public Power Corp. (PPC), which holds a near monopoly in the retail power market in Greece.
During the handover ceremony at newly named ministry of poduction reconstruction, environment and energy, Lafazanis said similar plans for the privatization of the power grid administrator and a further sell-off of Hellenic Petroleum (EL.PE), the biggest petro-chemical group in the country, are also scrapped.
Lafazanis, who expresses the more radical leftist wing within leftist SYRIZA, also holds the portfolios for energy pipelines (such as TAP), and for the liberalization of the natgas retail market — signed off by the previous government as one of the country’s obligations under the Memorandum.
Below the surface, Lafazanis said a bidding process for the exploration and exploitation of possible oil fields will be restarted, with one figure thrown out referring to a whopping 150 billion euros coming the Greek state’s way in the next 20-30 years.
Speaking at the ceremoney, Lafazanis took a thoroughly more militant stance than other neophyte SYRIZA ministers this week, saying Greece is facing is not a “debt crisis” but rather a crisis caused by European powers’ attempt to destroy everything in the country, using the debt as a pretext.
He also clarified that the Memoranda are now history and that all the laws passed under the Troika’s demand will gradually be abolished.