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Govt defends PPC's purchase of Skopje-based power trading firm

Featured Govt defends PPC's purchase of Skopje-based power trading firm

The relevant energy minister on Wednesday defended a decision by Greece's state-run power utility to purchase an electricity trading company in the neighboring former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) owned by a current deputy-premier there.

Minister Giorgos Stathakis said the purchase was "absolutely reasonable" and aimed to reinforce the Public Power Corp.'s (PPC) regional standing in the power sector. He also criticized the main opposition for trying to cast shadows over the transaction, while responding to a tabled question by another opposition MP, former PASOK energy minister Yannis Maniatis.

Cash-strapped PPC, the one-time electricity monopoly in Greece for decades before Commission-mandated energy sector liberalization was implemented, still holds a dominant position in the country's domestic energy sector.

"PPC is a listed company, the government does not interfere in its investment choices. Moreover, the transaction has the approval of the company's general assembly ... PPC examines the business opportunities that arise in the wider region," he answered in Parliament.

In confirming press reports, he said the purchase of Skopje-based EDS was proposed by PPC's subsidiary in Albania in September 2017.

He also maintained that required due diligence was undertaken by respected international auditing firms selected via tenders, ones completed in April 2018.