Copying and distributing are prohibited without permission of the publisher
EU questions Greece on government OTE stake
30 April 2012
Share purchase deal with Deutsche Telekom provides Greek government with ‘too much say, says European Commission
Greece has been given two months to respond to the European Commission’s concerns about the government’s so-called “golden share” in local operator OTE, and it may be taken to the European Court of Justice if it fails to meet the deadline.
The Greek government’s share purchase deal with Deutsche Telekom, which was eventually written into national law, provides it with too much say in the operator, reports Dow Jones, citing the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union. Deutsche Telekom first bought a stake in OTE in 2008 and then increased its holding in 2011.
The Commission told Dow Jones: “The Commission considers that the national law enables the Greek government to participate in OTE's governing bodies in a more significant manner than its shareholder status would normally allow.”
The Commission issued the warning as part of its monthly probe into member states actions that may violate EU laws.
Recent reports suggested OTE may sell its Albanian, Bulgarian or Romanian unit to fund debt-servicing, and is likely to finalise cost-cutting measures by the first half of 2012, as part of efforts to deal with a €500-€700 million funding deficit. GTB
More from GTB
Greece's OTE 'may sell' unit to pay debts 17 Apr 2012
Telekom Srbija buys back OTE stake 03 Jan 2012
Deutsche Telekom raises stake in OTE 18 Jul 2011
OTE raises €500m in bond issue 06 Apr 2011