Head of Greek privatisation agency resigns
Greece’s coalition government was scrambling on Friday to find new leaders for the state privatisation agency TAIPED after its chief executive resigned, claiming investors were losing confidence in the country’s commitment to a €50bn programme of disposals.
Costas Mitropoulos said he had stood down because “the new government did not provide the support the agency needs under present conditions”. His resignation letter was made public by Greek media.
“On the contrary [the government] . . . reduced the agency’s authority and credibility in the eyes of potential investors,” the letter said, adding that the chairman’s position was still unfilled one month after the government had taken office.
Ioannis Koukiades, the agency’s chairman, stepped down last month citing personal reasons.
The conservative-led coalition has said it wants to accelerate the flagging privatisation programme through sales of concessions to operate ports, regional airports and marinas, and disposals of state-owned real estate for development.
Mr Mitropoulos, an international consultant and banker, was appointed a year ago by the previous socialist government with a brief to raise €19bn from disposals by the end of 2015.
Greece undertook to raise €50bn from privatisations of state-controlled companies and real estate over the next decade as part of a medium-term reform programme agreed with international lenders.
TAIPED raised €1.8bn last year from four privatisations. This year’s target of €3bn would not be met because of delays caused by two successive general elections and by weakening market conditions, an agency official said.