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Enraged by Privatization Plan, Greek Left Resists

As ruling government puts up 'For Sale' sign, leftist opposition rallies for a fight

Common Dreams staff

Greece's main opposition party has accused the country's ruling coalition of wanting to sell Greece's resources on the cheap.

Calls by Greece's ruling coalition government to speed up the sale of state-owned assets -- including state railway systems, water infrastructure, and power utilities -- compelled Syriza, the left coalition party, to say the move was tantamount to putting a 'for sale sign' on the country and would not be tolerated by the Greek people.

Alexis Tsipras, head of Syriza, told parliament on Saturday he was especially warning those who want to 'grab state property on the cheap'. He has previously warned would-be buyers of state assets that they could lose all their money and face potential criminal proceedings.

"The government will have to account for its actions, the looting of public goods," Tsipras said, accusing Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his ministers of reneging on an electoral promise to revisit the bailout agreement.

The privatization scheme, according the Associated Press, would include over 28 state properties, including the state natural gas, water and betting companies, the rights to development the former Athens airport, other airports, state-owned marinas, and the state railways. The privatization of Public Power Corporation will come at a later stage, said finance minister Yannis Stournaras Stournaras before parliament.


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Tsipras accused the ruling government of abandoning promises to renegotiate bailout conditions with Eurozone leaders and proposed a moratorium on the payment of Greece's debt until the country, mired in a deep recession, returns to growth.

He predicted his party will soon come to power because the coalition government -- having abandon its promises to the Greek people -- will fail.

"The renegotiation of the bailout ended on Sunday, June 17," Tsipras told parliament during the Saturday debate and ahead of a confidence vote to take place late on Sunday. "You talked of a program that has missed its targets. Doesn't the derailment of the bailout plan prove its failure?"

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