PM: Competition for DEPA privatization failed not because of Greece
The tender for the privatization of DEPA, in which the main contender Gazprom refused to participate, failed through no fault of Greece, the country's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said, RIA Novosti reported.
The sale of DEPA and DESFA TCU is regarded as one of the key points of the Greek privatization program. Greece hoped to gain up to 1.5 billion euros from the sale. It appears, however, that Gazprom, which was considered the main contender for DEPA, has decided not to put forward a binding offer. As explained by the representative of the gas giant, Gazprom has not received sufficient guarantees that DEPA's financial situation will not deteriorate by the end of the transaction.
"Competition for both companies, DEPA and DESFA, was conducted in accordance with all regulations. During the first stage, the participants showed great interest, they were given explanations at their request, and there were no problems a few days ago. Emerging problems are not related to us," the Greek Prime Minister said at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker, who until recently headed the Council of Finance Ministers of 17 countries in the Euro zone.
In turn, Juncker said he did not know whether the European Commission was behind the collapse of the deal with Gazprom, but did not rule out the implicit intervention, which resulted in a "huge hole" in the size of nearly $1 billion Euro within the privatization program in Greece.
"I do not know the secrets of the couloirs of the European Commission. I do not know whether it was due to the Commission. I do not rule that out and do not know about such facts. If, however, the EU has dealt with this, as you say, the Commission should assume all the consequences of the situation," he said.
Samaras expressed optimism that the sale of DESFA will be completed soon and Azerbaijani company has offered a good price for the Greek transmission system operator.
The prime minister said the deal with Azerbaijan will also advance the construction of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline, which is of strategic importance for Greece.
Premieres of Greece and Luxembourg also have reported on success of the Greek economy.
"The crisis has not been overcome, but the country has no resemblance to Greece a year ago," Samaras said.