* Former utility chief Athanasopoulos appointed
privatisation agency chairman
* Former investment banker Emiris named CEO
* Privatisation programme badly lagging targets
ATHENS, July 25 Greece appointed a former banker
to run its privatisation agency on Wednesday, in a bid to
breathe life into the stumbling programme of asset sales that
are a key condition of the international bailouts keeping the
The government said it named Yannis Emiris, investment
banking chief at local lender Alpha Bank as chief
executive to replace Costas Mitropoulos, who stepped down last
week. Mitropoulos left after accusing the new conservative-led
government of blocking his effort to sell off assets.
Takis Athanasopoulos, a former chief executive at
state-controlled power producer PPC who had fallen out
with the company's powerful labour union, was named as chairman.
In a public resignation letter, Mitropoulos estimated that
Athens would not raise more than 300 million euros from
privatisations this year, far short of a target of more than 3
But the government dismissed his claims, blaming Mitropoulos
for the delay and saying that he resigned before being fired.
Reviving the long-delayed privatisation drive is a key part
of Greece's efforts to turn around the recession-hit economy and
repay its debt. But the government has admitted delays stemming
from repeat elections held earlier this year.
Greece's privatisation programme aims to raise 19 billion
euros by the end of 2015. It has so far collected just 1.56
billion euros in cash since the country obtained its first
international bailout, in 2010.
More than 90 percent of the privatisation programme, which
aims to raise more than 19 billion euros by the end of 2015,
will come from the lease and concessions of state land and
infrastructure, the government has said.