enet.gr

Troika rejects - per email - plans to restructure state-run industries

Govt scrambles for plan B for three defence and mining enterprises

Updated At:

Troika rejects government's plan in an email sent to the finance ministry late on Monday, reportedly on the grounds that the proposals were unrealistic and the cost of restructuring prohibitive

Workers from Hellenic Vehicles Industry (Elvo) protest in central Athens Workers from Hellenic Vehicles Industry (Elvo) protest in central Athens The government claims it is working on an alternative plan over the future of three loss-making state industries that the troika wants to see shuttered without workers receiving compensation.

Alternate Defence Minister Fofi Gennimata (Pasok) told reporters on Tuesday that she had been in contact with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Deputy Premier Evangelos Venizelos and the defence minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos on what steps the government should now take.

She also said that the issue was discussed earlier in the day at a meeting between finance and defence ministry officials and the prime minister’s aides.

The government’s proposal was to restructure the three industries - Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS), Hellenic Vehicles Industry (Elvo), and mining company Larco - while keeping them operational, separating the factory units into military and civilian divisions and offering voluntary retirement incentives to workers.

The troika rejected the government's plan in an email sent to the finance ministry late on Monday, reportedly on the grounds that the proposals were unrealistic and the cost of restructuring prohibitive.

The troika believes restructuring  of EAS – with debts of €1bn, it is considered to be the most problematic enterprise – would cost €144m, while the defence ministry estimates that the figure would be €30, much of which would come from the sale of EAS assets. Another €12m would be needed to fund a voluntary retirement programme for 350 workers, out of a total of 818.

In another development, the European Commission, according to a spokesman to European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn, is waiting for the adoption of final decisions regarding the restructuring, including a considerable decrease, in light of the privatisation or the liquidation of ELVO, EAS and Larco.

Party reactions

"The Samaras-Venizelos government and all the previous ones bear the full, the absolute responsibility for the annihilation of the defence industry," Syriza, the main opposition party, said in a statement.

"Implementing the mandates of creditors and usurers, they participated, planned and implemented the present development, applying in full the commitment they voted for in the medium-term fiscal programme in 2011 on the sellout of Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS) as a prior action for the continued lending to our country, extending it to the remaining groups of the defence industry as well."

It added: "The Samaras-Venizelos government is a danger for the people and the country. It is a danger for the country's national defence."

Democratic Left (Dimar) said in an announcement that the restructuring of the defence enterprises EAS, ELVO, Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAV) and Larco must take place while they are operating.

It added that "the troika, for as long as it is not being faced with strong negotiating, will put forward new illogical demands and across-the-board layoffs, the abolition of specialities and closure of enterprises of the wider public sector".

Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos said that "the coalition government, with a mandate from the troika, has decided to abolish the ammunition of [our] national defence while handing over public property and confiscating private property".
 

How the troika said 'no' to restructuring proposals

Text of troika email rejecting govt's plans for defence enterprises and mining company

Troika email says government's plans were 'in our view not viable or realistic and do not guarantee a sustainable solution from the economic efficiency, budgetary and state aid points of view'

Mattias Mors (Reuters) Mattias Mors (Reuters) Below is the text of an email sent by the troika to the government rejecting the latter's proposals to restructure state-owned Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS), Hellenic Vehicles Industry (Elvo) and mining company Larco.

The email was sent my Matthias Mors, the European Commission's representative in the troika, to the ministries of finance and defence on Monday evening.

The government on Wednesday said it is working on an alternative plan over the future of the three loss-making enterprises.

Text of the email

Thank you very much for forwarding the restructuring plans for the three companies. Please find a detailed reaction from our side with the conclusion that the proposed restructuring plans are in our view not viable or realistic and do not guarantee a sustainable solution from the economic efficiency, budgetary and state aid points of view. In our view, the option of closure/liquidation must be considered for all three companies (as reflected in the language of the MEFP/MoU [Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies/Memorandum of Understanding] and the public announcement in July). In this context, any liquidation should not be conditional on indemnities going beyond legal requirements or on a redeployment of the work force.

LARCO

Our main concern for LARCO is that in your proposal the tendering processes for the two asset clusters are not fully independent from each other (for the privatisation of the smelter and the mines, respectively), thus involving business continuity without addressing the fundamental state aid concerns (the transaction is structured in such a way that there is a high probability that the same investor will acquire both tendered assets and will thus be liable to pay back the State aid). Moreover, the potential investors are required to maintain employment in an over-staffed organisation that has been loss-making since 2008. This is an objective which is not commensurate with long term viability of the company and is creating additional financial risks.

The alternatives for the government should be either to sell the asset and expect from the buyer to pay the state aid back (as mentioned in the Almunia-Rehn letter) or to sell separately the Agios Ioanis/Larymna concession and the remaining Larco assets in an unbundled fashion, without giving the investor any specific option to acquire all assets or liquidate them otherwise (if they do not find buyers). In this context, the assessment of the alternatives would be facilitated if you could provide us with pre- and post-restructuring financial accounts.

HDS [Hellenic Defence Systems, EAS]

You are envisaging 144 million Euro of State funds to the military activities that would result from the split between civil and military activities of HDS, additional to the already inherited liabilities from the past. The proposal is basically calling for a rather generous early retirement and exit scheme which would have implications in terms of fiscal space and the programme. Given the fiscal space constraints and the dependence of the company on domestic orders, we believe that this is not a viable solution and the company should be liquidated. If a case could be made from a national defence objective perspective, this has to involve a substantially downsized/restructured company which is domestically-oriented. It has to be seen whether at such lower scale (given lower revenues but possibly high fixed costs) it makes sense from an economic point of view to keep the company on the market or whether one should just to proceed with outright liquidation.

ELVO

The special liquidation plan is more costly compared to bankruptcy. For example, if the company is liquidated 13.5 million euro are needed for severance payments; however if the company continues to function under special liquidation regime it will need 27.5 million euro to run operations until the conclusion of the current backlog contracts.

The assumption in your analysis that the shareholder's losses will stop upon the completion of the backlog contracts and that the company may win further contracts allowing thus the completion of the development plan is not realistic and does not guarantee any security related to the viability and future of the company. In conclusion, we consider that an outright bankruptcy of the company is the most desirable and realistic solution.

We look forward to receiving a new improved version of the restructuring/liquidation plans for the three companies which take into account our comments/suggestions.

Best regards,

Matthias
 

Send with e-mail Print Page

Read also

In category
Economy
With tags
Troika
Larco
Hellenic Vehicle Industry (Elvo)
Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS)