Hatzidakis urges Tsipras to change stance on vote for Greeks abroad

The prospects of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and the efforts to nurse it back to financial health dominated an interview with Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis released on Sunday. Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), the minister also expressed hope that main opposition SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras will have a change of heart concerning the vote for Greeks abroad.

“I hope that Mr. Tsipras changes his stance and becomes more constructive…our democracy needs it,” Hatzidakis said. The government, he pointed out, has indicated that it is prepared to compromise on this issue, in order to find common ground for the benefit of Greeks abroad, which will allow those registered to vote to cast their vote in Greek elections from their place of residence.

Concerning the PPC, the minister said it was back on its feet but still faced many challenges, so that a “horizontal privatisation” would not be attractive to potential investors at present. “Since the European elections and up until today, the price of its shares on the stock market has almost tripled,” he added.

With respect to the problem of “strategic debtors,” Hatzidaki said that this had damaged PPC to the extent that about half of the money it was owed were the debts of just 60,000 customers. “For our poorer fellow citizens, the Social Residential Tariff will continue to exist so that they have the special handling they should have,” he added.

Asked about Greece’s role in the global energy map, the minister said that Greece was “assuming its proper role on a regional and international level, with seriousness and a plan.”

He also commenting on the draft 2020 budget tabled in parliament, noting that it was “tangible proof that all we said before the elections is becoming action.”