Government welcomes DT, but OTE workers strike

18 Mar 2008

Greece’s Finance Ministry has said that it welcomes Deutsche Telekom’s agreement to buy 19.9% of Greek incumbent telco OTE from domestic investment firm MIG. The Greek government is set to enter discussions with DT to establish a shareholders’ agreement which will allow the German giant to increase its stake above 20%. DT wants management influence in the former monopoly, but does not intend to acquire an initial stake of more than a third.

However, whilst the government rolled out the red carpet for the German investor, telecoms workers’ union OME-OTE announced that its members will strike tomorrow in protest against the sale, reports Dow Jones. The union was already due to join a general strike that day against the government’s pension reforms, but said ‘we have one more reason to strike.’ Its members believe the introduction of a foreign strategic stakeholder will lead to further redundancies, after OTE cut staff levels by around a third as part of a voluntary retirement scheme introduced in late 2005.

Greece, Cosmote, Deutsche Telekom (DT)