After just three days in power, the new left-wing government in Greece has been ripping up the rule book on austerity and is plowing on with its radical policies — whether investors and political leaders like it or not
The yield on Greek 10-year bonds rose above 11 percent on Thursday, after the government said it was freezing a planned sale of some of its shares in Greece’s biggest refinery, Hellenic Petroleum, and any further sale of the Public Power Corporation of Greece.
“Enough with the fragmentation and the privatization,” new Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, who represents the far-left faction within Syriza, said Wednesday.
It comes after Theodoros Dritsa, the new alternate shipping minister, said on Tuesday he would “put an end to the sell-off” of the lucrative Port of Piraeus. One of the world’s biggest shipping groups, China’s Cosco, had been shortlisted as a potential buyer of the 67 percent government stake that was up for sale.
“I do not see why the new government raises this banner of resistance for a review, as they call it, of this investment,” former shipping minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis, who was key in sealing the Cosco deal, told CNBC in an email.
Under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the Syriza-led government has wasted no time in taking on the previous government’s policies, halting the privatization deals that were a condition of Greece’s 240 billion euro ($270 billion) bailout program.
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