EU auditors discuss privatizations, private sector access to lignite production in talks with Greek govt

Friday, 24 January 2020 11:58
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Representatives of Greece's European creditors focused on energy sector issues this week in talks with the relevant ministry's leadership, namely, allowing private sector entities to the country's lignite production - a state monopoly since the 1950s - and the course of a handful of privatizations aimed at liberalization.

The Greek side briefed European auditors over continuing preparations for an "energy bourse", undertaken by the Independent Power Transmission Operator S.A. (ADMHE), with a target for its debut in June. Among others, Greece's grid operator is continuing efforts to fully link its system with its counterparts in Bulgaria and Italy.

The Greek state must also open up the lignite production field, allowing alternate power producers access to the "brown coal" mined in northwest Greece, as per a EU court decision.

The development comes in the wake of Mitsotakis government decision to abandon lignite, considered a major polluter, as a power generation source by 2028.

Talks also touched on the privatization process for DEPA, the natural gas provider.

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