ATHENS, March 17 Greece appointed early on
Tuesday new management at the country's privatisation agency
(HRADF), which is expected to play a key role in implementing
the leftist government's plans to limit further state asset
Asterios Pitsiorlas, a businessman involved in the tourism
sector, will become chairman of the agency while Antonis
Leoussis, former chief executive at Greece's fourth biggest
lender Alpha Bank's real estate arm, will be chief executive.
Pitsiorlas and Leoussis will replace Emmanuel Kondylis and
Paschalis Bouchoris, appointed to the helm of the agency in July
by the former conservative government.
Just a few days after leftist party Syriza took office in
January, newly appointed Deputy Finance Minister Nadia Valavani
asked the former HRADF's management to resign, after settling
pending issues regarding ongoing privatisations.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government is opposed to some
key asset sales, but has promised not to cancel completed
privatisations and only review some tenders as part of the terms
of a four-month extension of its bailout programme, agreed with
international creditors last month.
During a parliamentary committee which ran over into the
early hours of Tuesday, Valavani said she would present
legislation to create a new body to manage state assets,
reiterating a previous suggestion that the HRADF would
eventually be replaced.
Syriza has long opposed sell-offs undertaken by the previous
conservative-led government but has been forced to somewhat
moderate its stance as Greece negotiates with its European
partners over a new aid package.
Greek representatives started talks with official
international creditors in Brussels last week in a bid to agree
on a set of reforms and unlock much-needed funds.
Privatisations had been meant to raise billions for Greece's
depleted state coffers under its 240-billion-euro bailout with
the European Union and the International Monetary Fund since
Proceeds have been disappointing so far, amounting to about
3 billion euros, a fraction of an initially targeted 22 billion
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Costas Pitas; editing by