Par Niels Kadritzke (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, July 2016) // Greece’s public assets, including ports and airports, went at discount prices to predatory buyers who will deprive the state of much-needed revenue.
The latest study from the Transnational Institute (TNI) on the effects of the ‘privatising industry’ in Europe concludes that ‘there is no evidence that the privatised companies are more efficient’. Instead, privatisation has undermined wage structures, made working conditions worse and increased income inequality.
Greece is a textbook case. During the debt crisis the country’s creditors forced it to sell or lease as many public and semi-public companies as possible, with the sole aim of paying off the government debt. This selling off of public assets is the most absurd part of the ‘rescue programme’ imposed by the troika that has kept the Greek economy in recession for seven years. Forcing a bankrupt state to privatise public companies in the midst of a crisis always means selling them at discount prices, say the authors of the TNI study. Even the ‘family silver’ can’t be sold off at a fair price during a deep recession; selling it is an act of embezzlement.
This article makes so much sense yet nobody is doing anything to stop the land and asset grab.