Arab Today, arab today head of greek privatisation fund resigns
Last Updated : GMT 20:20:46
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Head of Greek privatisation fund resigns

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Head of Greek privatisation fund resigns

Athens - AFP

The chief executive of Greece\'s privatisation fund has resigned, his office said on Friday, citing a lack of government support, planning delays and forecasting paltry asset sales this year. \"Without the government\'s unreserved support it is clearly impossible to rapidly carry out the privatisation programme,\" the outgoing executive, Costas Mitropoulos, said in a resignation letter to the finance ministry. Mitropoulos said the new conservative-led government had \"systematically\" undermined the fund\'s credibility with investors instead of helping clear up bureaucratic hurdles, making his position untenable. He also noted that the administration had failed to appoint a replacement to fund chairman Ioannis Koukiadis who resigned last month. In eleven months of operation, the fund had managed to conclude four privatisations worth 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion) compared to an overall five-year target of 28 projects worth 19 billion euros, Mitropoulos said. This was scaled down from an original overall target of 50 billion euros. This year\'s revenue target was 3.0 billion but the former Eurobank executive warned that asset sales are \"unlikely to exceed 300 million in 2012\" and that the programme was at least three months behind schedule. The resignation is the third to hit the one-month government, after the junior ministers for labour and shipping also stepped down. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras\' first choice for finance minister also turned down the post due to illness. The government has yet to comment on Mitropoulos\' departure, which comes amid Greek efforts to redouble the privatisation drive in order to appease EU-IMF creditors growing impatient with the country\'s reform delays. The European Union and International Monetary Fund, which have provided hundreds of billions of euros in loans to keep the country\'s economy going for two years, expect Greece to fulfil its privatisation goals. After his election in June, centre-right Samaras pledged to speed up the privatisation process, while Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said he would implement policies to attract investors. But in early July, Mitropoulos warned the Greek government that too much time had been \"wasted\" in getting the programme going. The fund had earlier said that the revised goal of raising 19 billion euros ($23 billion) by 2015 is feasible as long as demand holds up. The state-run Athens News Agency recently said however that only two privatisation projects could be completed by the end of the year: that of the national lottery and the former Olympic international press centre (IBC).

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