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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Privatization of Greek Telecommunication Co , OTE

GREEK GOVERNMENT OF MR.KARAMANLIS ON ITS EFFORT TO PRIVATISE COMPANIES OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR ,LATELY IS FOCUSED ON THE PRIVATIZATION OF GREEK TELECOMMUNICATION CO NAMED OTE.
THE STATE ,OWNING 38,5% OF TOTAL SHARES ,BEING THE MAJOR SHAREHOLDER ,HAS AS POLICY SELLING ITS SHARES TO A STRATEGIC INVESTOR.
OTE IS ONE OF THE MAJOR PLAYERS AT THE SECTOR FOR THE TERRITORY OF SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE AND APART THAT IS ALREADY PROFITABLE ,EVEN THAT THE WAY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION ISN'T THE MOST PRODUCTIVE ONE.THE SECTOR IS PROMISING A LOT OF PROFITS FOR THE FUTURE DUE TO THE INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT ,ACCORDING TO THE INTERNATIONAL ESTIMATIONS.A LOTS OF BILLIONS OF EUROS AND DOLLARS ARE GOING TO BE INVESTED FOR THE NEXT YEARS IN INTERNET AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS.
SO ,WE THINK THAT THE POLICY OF THE GREEK GOVERNMENT ,FOR THAT MATER, ISN'T A FRUITFUL ONE ,ESPECIALLY BECAUSE ,THE SECTOR IS CHARACTERISED AS OF HIGH SENSITIVITY AND STRATEGIC.
THE PRIVATIZATION ,IN GENERAL IS A GOOD STEP FOR THE PRODUCTIVITY ,IF IT BALANCES THE INTERESTS OF THE STATE ,PRIVATE SECTOR AND SOCIETY.
BUT HOW THESE TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES, THE PRIVATIZATION ON ONE HAND AND THE STATE CONTROL ON THE OTHER ,CAN PRODUCE PROFITS AND BENEFITS FOR THE SHAREHOLDERS AND THE CITIZENS?
ACCORDING TO OUR OPINION THE COMPANY SHOULD BE DIVIDED IN TWO
1)ONE THAT MANAGES THE MAIN ASSETS,THE NETWORK AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL INVENTORIES
2)ONE THAT MANAGES THE SERVICES TO THE CLIENTS ,THE BILLS ,THE SHOPS AND THE PRODUCTS ,BEING A CLIENT FOR THE ASSET CO.
BOTH SHOULD BE PRIVATIZED IN A DIFFERENT WAY HAVING INTO CONSIDERATION THE EMPLOYEES ,SHAREHOLDERS AND CITIZENS AS FOLLOWING:
1)THE FIRST ONE ,LETS CALL IT THE NETWORK ASSET COMPANY ,KEEPING IN ITS PROPRIETY THE ASSETS COULD SELL 20-30% OF ITS SHARES TO THE OTHER TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANIES IN GREECE ,SO THAT INVESTMENTS FROM THE PART OF THESE CO ,WHICH ARE GOING TO BE OCCURRED FOR ORGANIZING THEIR PRIVATE NETWORKS , TO STOP AND THE CAPITAL FOR THESE INVESTMENTS TO BE TURNED IN OTHER SECTORS OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS,FOR WHICH WE ARE IN A TRUE NEED.
THE STATE SHOULD KEEP A 40-50% OF THE SHARES IN ORDER TO CONTROL THE FEATURED AND AUGMENTED SENSITIVITY OF INFORMATION.
THE REST 20-40% SHOULD BE SHARED OUT TO THE PUBLIC ,THROUGH THE STOCK MARKET EXCHANGE PROCEDURE.
2)THE SECOND ,LETS CALL IT THE DISTRIBUTION SERVICE CO SHOULD BE SOLD TO A STRATEGIC INVESTOR ,HAVING IN MIND A PERCENTAGE TO BE GIVEN TO THE UNION OF THE EMPLOYEES.
ALL THE SHARES SHOULD BE SOLD OUT TO A RELIABLE STRATEGIC INVESTOR.
FROM SUCH A POLICY ALMOST EVERYBODY HAS TO BENEFIT
THE STATE STILL WILL OWN THE CONTROL AND GET PROFITS WHICH WILL BE PROVIDED THROUGH THE ASSET CO. ALSO AN INCREASE FOR WORKING PLACES WILL BE ON DEMAND.WITH THE APPROPRIATE MARKETING METHODS THE INCOME FOR SUCH TRANSACTIONS COULD BE DOUBLED ,IN COMPARISON WITH THE EXPECTATIONS OF TODAY.
THE PRIVATE CO'S LIKE VIVONDI,FORTHNET ETC. WILL USE THE EXISTING NETWORK ,PAYING FOR THE USE OF IT A LOGIC LEVEL OF PRICES,NOT OVERESTIMATED LIKE THEY ARE PAYING TODAY AND THE CAPITAL WHICH THEY ARE GATHERING IN ORDER TO BUILT THEIR OWN NETWORKS WILL BE INVESTED IN SECTORS WHERE THEY WILL FIND MORE PROFITS.ALSO BY PARTICIPATING AS SHAREHOLDERS TO THE ASSET CO ,APART FOR THEY PARTICIPATION IN MANAGEMENT ,THEY WILL PROFIT ALSO.
THE TODAY SHAREHOLDERS WILL PROFIT FROM THE OVERVALUED SHARES WHICH THEY OWN,BECAUSE OF THE WHOLE PROCEDURE.
THE CITIZENS WILL FEEL SAFER , DUE TO THE FACT THAT THEIR COMMUNICATIONS WILL REMAIN SAFE ,UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE STATE AND THEY WILL FIND NEW AND BETTER SERVICES OFFERED TO THEM,IN LOWER PRICES DUE TO THE OPERATION OF A HEALTHY COMPETITION IN THE MARKET.
THE EMPLOYEES WILL MANAGE A PERCENTAGE OF THE DISTRIBUTION CO AND WHY NOT FROM THE ASSET CO ALSO ,WITHOUT LOOSING THEIR POSITIONS ,WORKING IN A MODERNISED SEMI-PRIVATISED ENVIRONMENT,WHICH WILL FOLLOW THE PRINCIPALS OF COMPETITION IN A HUMAN WAY.
IF THE GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO FOLLOW THE PRESENT POLICY WILL LOOSE A LOT OF SUPPORT ,FOR A SECTOR IN WHICH GREEKS ARE LEADERS AT THEIR TERRITORY.

WRITTEN BY ANGELOS CHARLAFTIS

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Militarisation of the Eastern Mediterranean

The following text on the militarisation of the Eastern Mediterranean was completed less than months before the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. The pipeline project linking Turkey to Israel originally proposed by Israel at the time was an underwater pipeline from the Turkish terminal of Ceyhan to the port of Haifa. Following the bombing of Lebanon, it is highly unlikely that such a costly project would be undertaken. What is at stake in the war on Lebanon is the strategic control of a land corridor, which extends along the Eastern Mediterranean coast,from the Israeli-Lebanese border, accross Lebanon and Syria to Turkey, where it would link up with the port of Ceyhan.


The Anglo-US Military alliance seeks to establish control over Central Asian oil and gas reserves as well as strategic pipeline routes. The most important strategic corridor is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and gas pipelines dominated by British Petroleum (BP). This corridor not only integrates the Caspian Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean, it is also slated to channel Central Asian oil and gas to a strategic pipeline corridor controlled by Israel.

Israel has become a potential partner in the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which is protected by GUAM, a US-NATO sponsored military alliance between Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Moldava. What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel's Tipline, through a system of underwater pipelines, from Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Askshelon.

While the BTC pipeline is invariably described as a means of bypassing Russia and channelling Central Asian oil and gas to Western markets, part of this oil and gas is intended for re-export to the Asian market through the Red Sea port of Eilat. By linking the BTC to Israel's pipeline system, Israel is slated to become a major player in the global energy market, in alliance with the Anglo-American oil giants.

Diverting Central Asian oil and gas to the Eastern Mediterranean (under Israeli military protection), for rexport to Asia, serves to undermine the inter-Asian energy market, which is based on the development of direct pipeline corridors linking Central Asia and Russia to South Asia, China and the Far East.
In April, Israel and Turkey announced plans for four underwater pipelines. Also involved in this project is a pipeline to bring water to Israel. 'Turkey and Israel are negotiating the construction of a multi-million-dollar energy and water project that will transport water, electricity, natural gas and oil by pipelines to Israel, with the oil to be sent onward from Israel to the Far East, Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel":.

"We are talking about a global energy project, which would be a very important engine of peace in the region," Turel said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Turel, who was here to take part in an International Conference of Mayors held in Jerusalem, said that the grandiose project had received tentative approval from both Turkey and Israel and would greatly enhance an abrogated landmark 2004 proposal to export water to Israel using large tankers, which proved to be prohibitively expensive.

The new Turkish-Israeli proposal under discussion would see the transfer of water, electricity, natural gas and oil to Israel via four underwater pipelines.

"The whole premise is based on the assumption that Turkey is becoming a major hub for energy in the region," said Gabby Levy, the Director of International Relations at the National Infrastructure Ministry.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1145961328841&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

According to Israeli Knesset member Joseph Shagal, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline would eventually link up with Israeli ports and pipeline routes. In May 2006, Joseph Shagal confirmed that Israel was envisaging a new 400 km under water pipeline, which would join up with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) main pipeline, “Baku oil can be transported to Ashkelon via this new pipeline and to India and the Far East.[via the Red sea]"

"Ceyhan and the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon are situated only 400 km apart. Oil can be transported to the city in tankers or via specially constructed under-water pipeline. From Ashkelon the oil can be pumped through already existing pipeline to port of Eilat at the Red Sea; and from there it can be transported to India and other Asian countries in tankers. As Shagal informed, Natig Aliyev had invited Israeli Infrastructure Minister to visit traditional Caspian oil exhibition-conference to be held early in June in Baku. The member of Knesset expressed his assurance the invitation would be accepted and realization of the above-mentioned idea would be discussed in detail. REGNUM)



Concluding remarks

The Israeli-Turkish project, which links up with the BTC consists in exporting Caspian oil and gas using Israel as a transhipment route through the Red Sea back to to India and the Far East.

From a geopolitical standpoint, the Ceyhan-Ashkelon-Eilat corridor would be protected by the Israeli military. It would channel oil back to the Asian markets via the Red Sea. This dramatic rerouting of Central Asian oil and gas via the Eastern Mediterranean inevitably undermines the "direct corridor trading routes" between the producing countries in Central Asia and their South and East Asian trading partners, including India and China. Ultimately, this design is intended to weaken Russia's role in Central Asia and cut off China from Central Asian oil resources. In this context, the Western military alliance which now includes Israel protects the strategic energy pipeline corridors of the Anglo-American oil companies.

The withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon bears a direct relationship to the consolidation of both land and sea corridors under Israeli military proection. The strategic land corridor extends from the Red Sea port of Eilat, across Israel and through Lebanon and the Syrian Mediterranean coastline to the Eastern coastline of Turkey.

WRITTEN by Michel Chossudovsky
Published on 23/05/06 at Global research

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