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Politics

Varoufakis: Pro-Privatisation Policies, Underinvestment in Infrastructure Made Problems Worse

February 18, 2021

ATHENS — A strongly pro-privatisation policy and the complete collapse of infrastructure due to the bankruptcy of the Greek state were responsible for the Greek state's inability to manage during the bad weather, opposition MeRA25 party leader Yanis Varoufakis said on Thursday to Real FM radio.

Added to the bankruptcy of the Greek state, he noted, "is added a new ill, an obsession with privatisation, both from the troika and the present government". When this concerned networks, which could never be competitive and were by definition a monopoly, and this was combined with privatisation – or the outsourcing of maintenance to private contractors as the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO) was doing at present – "the results are tragic everywhere in the world, not just in Greece," Varoufakis said.

On the decision to close down the Athens-Lamia highway, Varoufakis said the contractors holding the concession for the motorway also have a contractual obligation to keep it clear of snow and, if they are unable to do so, to pay compensation. Instead, the state had relieved them of this obligation by ordering the road to close as a precaution, so that compensation would be paid to the company instead.

He also strongly criticised the government's decision to cut spending on the national health system during the pandemic and accused it of making no investments in health infrastructure.

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