The head of Gazprom Alexey Miller is visiting Athens for the third time in two months. He will hold talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday, a source in the Greek capital told RIA Novosti.
Privatisation of the Greek gas company DEPA will be the main issue of the negotiations. The offer was repeatedly postponed. According to the latest data, binding offers have to be presented by the participants by May 29.
Miller will also meet with the leadership of the privatisation agency (HRADF). Stelios Stavridis. The agency head gave assurances that the winner will be the one who offers the highest bid ensuring there is no pressure from the U.S. and the EU on Greece with regards to the participation of Russian companies in the privatisation.
The Greek Privatisation Agency requires a guarantee of 20 per cent of the price of the company which will not be refunded, if the deal is not approved within a year. Objections from the Competition Commission of the European Union may cause obstacles. Alongside guarantees for repayment of debts of private gas consumers, accounting for about 400 million euros, should also be provided.
The tender for the privatisation of DEPA involves Russian Gazprom and Negusneft from the Synthesis Group, two Greek consortiums and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).
DEPA Holding is engaged in the wholesale and supply of natural gas to large customers. Through its subsidiary DESFA, the holding owns a national network of gas transportation and regasification terminals. In addition, DEPA has a 51 per cent stake in the companies on the retail sale and supplies of natural gas to small and medium businesses and private clients in Greece.