Italy, Greece to talk over DESFA deal

Italy, Greece to talk over DESFA deal

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 21

By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

Representatives from Italian Snam are expected to arrive in Athens for talks with the Greek government over the privatization of the national gas transmission system operator DESFA, Greek media reported.

According to a report in Ta Nea, Italian company appears to have reached an agreement with SOCAR to purchase 17 percent of DESFA.

SOCAR won a tender in 2013 on the purchase of a 66-percent stake in DESFA for 400 million euros.

Earlier, Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said that the deal on SOCAR's purchasing the 66-percent share in Greece's DESFA will be completed after Italy's Snam purchases 17 percent of that share.

In July 2016, Greek Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Panos Skourletis accused the European Commission of delaying the deal on selling a share in Greece's DESFA to SOCAR. Skourletis said that a number of conditions, set by the European Commission, greatly slowed the privatization process of the gas operator.

In particular, the company will become a passive shareholder, not entitled to vote in the management of the company, as a result of decreasing SOCAR’s share in DESFA up to 49 percent.

Greek MPs stressed that the problems with the privatization of DESFA may deprive the country’s economy of SOCAR’s huge capital injections.

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