Govt, opposition clash over PPC's bourse dive amid negative press reports

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 21:06
ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ/Παντελής Σαίτας

Monday's nearly 10-percent drop in the share price of the Public Power Corp. (PPC), the dominant electricity provider in the country, generated the latest clash between the government and the opposition a day later.

PPC's share price rebounded on Tuesday by a meager 0.29 percent.

The development comes amid recent high-profile reports that the utility, which once operated as an electricity and lignite-mining monopoly, is described in a soon-to-be-released business plan as non-viable in its present state.

The reports ostensibly emanate from a five-year study compiled by McKinsey for the ASE-listed utility.

According to a main opposition New Democracy sector head, PPC consumers now face rate hikes, while the utility risks closure. On his part, PASOK party deputy and former energy minister Yannis Maniatis said 3.5 years of a SYRIZA government have left PPC near bankruptcy.

In an heated response, the relevant energy minister, Giorgos Stathakis, blamed short-sellers for what he called an "attack" that has squeezed PPC's share price, while charging that the political opposition was aiding such efforts by "adopting cheap arguments regarding PPC's insolvency".

On its part, the utility's state-appointed management merely said it will release the business plan in the next few days, adding that the latter "defines the basic parameters, directions and initiatives that are necessary, not for its viability, but for PPC's adaptation to new conditions, its growth and reinforcement".

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