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Power cuts in Greece amid anti-privatisation strike

Greece faced nationwide power cuts on Thursday as a rolling strike began against government plans to break up the country's main electricity provider.

ATHENS: Greece faced nationwide power cuts on Thursday as a rolling strike began against government plans to break up the country's main electricity provider.

State power distribution operator DEDDIE said one-hour cuts would be imposed from midday in various parts of the mainland as 13 production plants of the Public Power Corporation went offline.

PPC unionists have announced rolling 48-hour strikes against plans to break up the company by 2015 under privatisation efforts linked to the country's economic rescue.

The liberalisation of Greece's energy market, which has been dominated by state-controlled PPC for decades, is a key requirement for continued loan support from the country's international creditors, the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The new, scaled-down private company would control a 30-per cent share of PPC's extensive production resources including lignite mines and hydroelectric, natural gas and lignite-fired electricity generation plants.

The Greek state has also pledged to divest 17 per cent of PPC shares by the end of 2015 from its portfolio of over 51 per cent. Pension funds hold another 3.8 per cent.

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