Stathakis: Lignite bill has ‘nothing to do’ with small PPC

“Counter to the proposal of a small PPC, which was a very bad privatisation, we are bringing a draft law exclusively for lignite coal,” Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s radio station “Praktoreio 104.9 FM.”

Stathakis was talking about the draft law to be introduced to the plenary in Parliament later in the day entitled “Structural measures for access to lignite and the further opening of the wholesale electricity market.”

“Today, the government is proceeding with a disinvestment, which includes, instead of 30 pct of the production capacity, only 9 pct, and which is exclusively for lignites and has nothing to do with the small PPC plan,” he underlined.

Stathakis said the government will be judged on its results and noted that “the choices we have made were absolutely correct and better on all levels than the choices made by the previous government in the sensitive energy sector”.

“We cancelled the small PPC plan – which envisaged 30 pct of all PPC’s productive capacity. We cancelled all three privatisations scheduled by the Samaras government in the energy sector: ADMIE – a full privatisation – we kept 51 pct under the control of the state, DESFA – instead of a 400 million euros deal to sell it to an Azeri company we sold a majority stake for 535 million euros to European strategic investors, with a stronger chairman and a stronger presence of the Greek state, while on PPC we scrapped a plan for a full privatisation of the electricity utility,” the Greek minister said.

Stathakis reiterated there will be no lay-offs after the selling of PPC’s lignite units in Florina and Megalopoli. “The new units will carry their workforce with them and they are fully covered by a collective labour agreement to be signed by PPC in the next few days. This contract has a three-year duration and no lay-offs can be made for two collective labour agreements,” he added.

The Greek minister stressed that Greece must produce 30 pct less emissions by 2030, so the country needed to save energy and to cover 30 pct of the energy consumed in the country from renewable energy sources. Stathakis said the government will make some amendments to the draft bill discussed in Parliament to include the local benefits of the lignite units, while he said that changes in the energy sector will not lead to higher electricity rates.