OTE staff strike over sale to Germans

3 Jun 2011

Employees at Greece’s largest telecoms group OTE have begun industrial action in protest at the government’s recently announced plan to sell its remaining shares in the former monopoly telco, which includes Greek and Balkans mobile operator Cosmote. As part of an emergency privatisation plan to help cut huge debts and meet the demands of its bail-out creditors, Greece has resolved to exercise a put option to allow OTE’s largest shareholder, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, to increase its interest from 30% to 40%, whilst the finance ministry has also indicated that the government may exit the telco altogether by putting a further 6% stake up for sale at an unspecified date. A 4% stake under state control was previously transferred to a pension fund. A 24-hour strike by OTE workers on Thursday will be followed by another walkout planned for 15 June.

Greece, Cosmote