| ATHENS, April 3
ATHENS, April 3 Workers at Greece's main power
utility, Public Power Corp (PPC), will file an appeal
to Europe's top human rights court on Tuesday, aiming to block
the sale of some company assets and seeking recognition they own
a stake in the business.
Part of the state-controlled PPC is due to be sold under
Greece's multi-billion euro bailout. But the GENOP-DEH union is
opposed to the plan and said on Monday staff should have a
greater say, claiming they have a stake in the company from
social security contributions accumulated from 1966 to 1999.
"We will file an appeal with the European Court of Human
Rights on Tuesday, seeking that our holdings in the company are
recognised," said George Adamidis, head of the union
representing 18,000 PPC workers.
An earlier attempt to have their claim recognised was
rejected by Greece's Council of State, the country's top
The state controls 51 percent of PPC, which commands about
90 percent of Greece's retail power market and 60 percent of its
Under an international bailout signed in 2015, Athens agreed
to cut both shares to below 50 percent by 2020, mainly via power
sales to alternative producers.
But its lenders from the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund say that plan has not been effective
and they now want the country to also sell up to 40 percent of
its coal-fired units.
The issue has been an obstacle in talks to unlock new loans
for the cash-strapped country.
GENOP-DEH has accused the government of trying to hold a
fire-sale of parts of PPC and has warned of labour action if
Athens moves ahead with the plan.
PPC operates 14 coal-fired units in Greece, accounting for
about half of the company's total production.
Energy Minister George Stathakis told Athens News Agency on
Sunday the government would safeguard jobs at PPC and support
every effort to keep its assets under state control.
Stathakis said lenders were pushing Greece to sell PPC
assets after a European court ruled last year that PPC had
abused its dominant position in the country's coal market.
Greece, PPC and its lenders will hold talks until autumn to
specify which coal-fired units will be sold, he added.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Mark Potter)