Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.31
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
The new Greek government headed by SYRIZA party continues to surprise by its actions.
Unwillingness of Greece to pay off debts to the EU is supported by the intention to liquidate the Fund for State Property Management as well, thereby curtailing the privatization process in the country. This decision directly concerns Azerbaijan as well, since a deal on the sale of 66 percent of participation in the DESFA Greek gas transmission operator by SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) was made as early as 2013.
The Greek side will determine the further steps regarding this transaction after the decision of the European Commission, according to the Minister of Energy of Greece Panagiotis Lafazanis.
Spreading itself too thin by such statements, the new Greek government forgets that each party has obligations that need to be fulfilled.
SYRIZA's statements on the revision of the entire policy of the country, plans on the settlement of its economic problems and review of relations with creditors are only part of the campaign. But one must face the reality now. The country, whose economy is in serious condition, which is exacerbated by difficulties in the global economy, should act quite differently. The deal with SOCAR means the real 400 million euros, which the Greek side needs now.
Aside from the profitability of this transaction, one shouldn't forget that currently, the project for supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe is under implementation and the Greek side is directly involved in this process as one of the purchasers of Azerbaijani gas.
Greece's attempts to speculate under the current circumstances are simply irrelevant. It is very easy to talk about economic reforms, while it is very difficult to carry out them. Greece pins hopes on debt relief to the EU, however, the latest statement of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the opposite. Merkel said she sees no possibility for further debt relief for Greece.
Initially, problems arose regarding the deal on purchasing 66% of Greece's gas grid operator DESFA by SOCAR. It became known in November 2014 that EU's anti-monopoly authority started to check the impending deal. The European officials feared that the competition level in Greece's gas market will decrease.
It was presumed that the deal will be reviewed by March 23, however, later it was postponed to April 22, 2015. Strange coincidence...
Attracting of investors, expansion of cooperation with other countries beyond the EU, that's to say, the practical measures for recovering the countries economy should be the main goal of the Greek government for the present. So, currently, there is no point to shoot from the hip.
Emil Ismayilov is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Emilsmail