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Greek privatization fund head resigns over woes

ATHENS--The chief executive of Greece's privatization fund has resigned, his office said on Friday, citing a lack of government support, planning delays and forecasting paltry asset sales this year.

“Without the government's unreserved support it is clearly impossible to rapidly carry out the privatization program,” the outgoing executive, Costas Mitropoulos, said in a resignation letter to the finance ministry.

Mitropoulos said the new conservative-led government had “systematically” undermined the fund's credibility with investors instead of helping clear up bureaucratic hurdles, making his position untenable.

He also noted that the administration had failed to appoint a replacement to fund chairman Ioannis Koukiadis who resigned last month.

In eleven months of operation, the fund had managed to conclude four privatizations worth 1.8 billion euros (US$2.2 billion) compared to an overall five-year target of 28 projects worth 19 billion euros, Mitropoulos said.

This was scaled down from an original overall target of 50 billion euros.

This year's revenue target was 3 billion but the former Eurobank executive warned that asset sales are “unlikely to exceed 300 million in 2012” and that the program was at least three months behind schedule.

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