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Opposition Leaders to Meet Over "Small PPC"

Tsipras_DEHOpposition parties on Thursday agreed to a proposal by main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party leader Alexis Tsipras to meet on Monday over the possibility of calling for a referendum against the Public Power Corporation’s (PPC) privatization.
Tsipras‘ initiative had been turned down at first but following phone calls, the opposition leaders agreed to meet by sending party representatives. The parties include the Democratic Left (DIMAR), Independent Greeks (ANEL) and the independents in Parliament, while a decision by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is pending.
SYRIZA’s leader spoke with DIMAR’s Fotis Kouvelis, Independent Greeks’ Panos Kamenos, and head of the independent MPs Paris Moutsinas. KKE’s Dimitris Koutsoubas did not confirm a delegation from the party would attend Monday’s meeting, but requested that a referendum include all past laws related to the opening of the energy market and PPC’s privatization.
It was the first personal contact between the SYRIZA and KKE leaders, spurred by a recent government decision to spin off a section of PPC into what is known as “small PPC” and sell it. A relevant bill is currently being discussed in Parliament.
According to the Constitution (Article 44.2), a referendum may be called by the president of the Republic on “critical national issues” (which requires an absolute majority and is proposed by the cabinet) or on “voted bills that regulate a serious social issue other than fiscal one” (which requires three-fifths of a majority and must be proposed by two-fifths of the total of deputies, or 120 MPs). Tsipras said he planned to take the second option.
Meanwhile, the PPC employees’ union, GENOP, declared a strike against the privatization. PPC filed an injunction with an Athens court, which is expected to rule on the case this Friday.
The Hellenic Electricity Transmission System (ADMIE), the country’s power network operator, declared a state of emergency on Thursday as a result of the strike, over a high probability of failure to meet energy demands or of deviation in the frequency or voltage of energy provided.
(source: ana-mpa)

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