Reuters: Greek privatisation agency moves to settle case to help secure new loans

Greece’s privatisation agency took action on Wednesday to settle a legal case that could hold up the disbursement of vital fresh bailout loans to the deeply indebted country.

Athens last week secured an 8.5 billion euro (7.49 billion pounds) financial lifeline, the latest from its euro zone creditors, allowing it to avoid defaulting on debt repayments next month.

But Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos warned that the euro zone may block the new loans if Athens did not grant immunity to three advisers from Spain, Italy and Slovakia who advised Greece’s privatisation agency and faced breach of duty charges.

The three advisers were charged in 2015 in relation to a sale and lease-back deal involving 28 state-owned buildings. The case is still pending.

Greece’s privatisation agency HRADF on Wednesday asked the country’s Supreme Court to cancel an appeals court ruling that imposed the charges and called for a new hearing instead, court officials said.

In its request, the privatisation agency said the three advisers had been granted immunity effective from 2016, based on a law that Greece’s parliament passed last year.

Source: Reuters