AMNA--Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday warned the government not to go ahead with plans to "sell off public wealth for a song and especially the sale of those productive units that could be a lever for the productive reconstitution of the country."
Tsipras stressed that this would be tantamount to "the second biggest crime after the signature of the Memorandum [for bailout loans to Greece]" in statements after meeting with a delegation of workers from the Hellenic Sugar Industry (EBZ).
SYRIZA's leader strongly criticized a plan to sell off EBZ for what he called a 'paltry' 40 million euro, noting that the two factories owned by EBZ's subsidiary in Serbia were alone currently costed at more than 150 million euro. He also pointed out that EBZ was the largest agricultural-based industry in northern Greece and was currently making a profit that could be made even larger with the right plan and strategy. He also noted that the sale would not only affect EBZ's workforce but also thousands of farmers now growing sugar beet that supplied EBZ.
Tsipras promised that his party will stand at the side of workers in the coming period and stressed that privatization processes in Greece, but also Europe and the rest of the world, had acted as sources of corruption and major scandals "especially in conditions with fast-track and pressure".
"We will not allow the same to happen here, especially at a time when the Greek economy is suffocating and suffering. We will strive for the Greek economy to have hope and prospects, so that they do not extinguish hope entirely through their choices," he said.