#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – July 14 – A law selling off one-third of Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) to private investors was recently rushed through parliament by the government following demands by the Troika, which has been effectively decreeing policy in the country since 2010 (EuObserver)
Both the New Democracy and Pasok parties (partners in government) backed the arrangement, which includes lucrative terms offering remarkable privileges for investors in the shape of major energy companies like Germany’s RWE
and the French EDL.
While the jumble sale of state property (industries, infrastructure, and utilities) has been a characteristic of the last five years, and chiefly apparent in Greece, the "everything must go" approach to public goods is regrettably not just a Greek phenomenon.
Privatisation is one of the preconditions of the mantra that has directed policy across the European periphery since the beginning of the Greek crisis.
Privatisation’s champions maintain that selling public assets is good for competition and hinders price-fixing, as well as benefiting state coffers and consumers. What we have seen instead are greater costs, added inefficiencies and redundancies.
Internationally, experience shows that, in contrast to this rosy image, privatisation often results in reduced access to services which then become more expensive and less efficient, with Margaret Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980’s standing as the classic, gloomy monument to this economic lunacy.
(GreekReporter 26 June 2014 ) – Greek electricity power company’s GENOP-DEH Board of Directors has decided to go on rotating 48-hour strikes to protest against the draft legislation for the creation of “minor DEH,” which is expected to be presented to the relevant Parliamentary Committee on issues related to production and trade next Wednesday, July 2 and then to go to the Parliamentary Summer Session for voting.
But market fundamentalists and their allies are testing something even more dangerous in Greece. Genop-DEH, the main union to which most PPC staff is affiliated, has been fighting the government policy by calling a series of strikes.
Worryingly, in reaction to this, the government issued civil mobilisation orders to 19,000 PPC workers, meaning that they face arrest for being on strike. This move effectively abolishes the right to strike – a fundamental entitlement in any functioning democracy, not to mention something which is enshrined in the EU’s own charter of fundamental rights.
In the context of such shocking government tactics, the left in Greece is calling for a referendum on whether the PPC should be privatised.