Athens: Plans to privatise Greece’s Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports were dealt another blow when a senior cabinet minister said Wednesday the government is still against the sell-off.
“We are radically opposed to the privatization, particularly of the strategic sectors and businesses of our economy, and primarily in the sector of infrastructure and energy,” Panagiotis Lafazanis, the energy and environment minister, told a conference in Athens on Wednesday, AP reports.
Greece yesterday began talks in Brussels with its creditors to finalise what reforms Athens must make in order to get the remaining funds from its bailout package released.
The privatisation of the ports and other state-owned businesses is one of the reforms Greece has been asked to make to raise funds and reduce its debt in exchange for rescue loans.
The Greek government has been sending out rather mixed messages about the proposed privatisations. In February, prime minister Alex Tsipras reassured his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang that Greece still values Chinese foreign investment and will give the project “more attention and support”.
Previously, a minister said the project has not been cancelled but is being “reassessed”.