The partial sale of phone company OTE was just one of the privatisations that thousands of Greek workers protested against when they went on strike and took to the streets.
The civil service unions believe the sell-offs will lead to job losses and increased prices and they’re opposed to state firms coming under foreign control. The head of the phone company union Panayiotis Kourtis said: “It’s treachery, this deal, they’re handing over public property. We’ve repeatedly protested. But unfortunately the government prefers to pander to foreign company bosses. OTE’s being given away to Deutsche Telekom, without the Greek people getting any of the money.”
The government wants to sell off stakes in several state-run companies, including the main commercial ports and banks to reduce public debt.