Business

Greece public sector sell-off planned

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou
Image caption Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou says he aims to protect public services

Greece has outlined plans to part-privatise a number of publicly-owned companies in an effort to raise funds to boost government finances.

The government plans to sell minority stakes in its state-owned rail company, the postal service and in two water companies.

The plans form part of the Greece's austerity measures, designed to cut borrowing and reduce its debts.

The plan is expected to raise at least 1bn euros (£837m; $1.2bn) a year.

Privatisation plans include selling 49% of its rail company OSE, which is currently making a loss, while 39% of the state postal service will also be sold.

The government will also sell stakes in regional water companies EYATH and EYDAP of 23% and 10% respectively.

Further revenue will be raised through extending the monopoly of the state's gambling firm, and extending its regulation of online betting.

Announcing the plans, Greece's finance minister George Papaconstantinou said the aim was to protect public services but in a more sustainable manner.

The part privatisation of parts of the Greek public sector was agreed as part of a massive bail-out plan by the EU and the International Monetary Fund earlier this year.