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Greek-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce supports restoration of dialogue on DESFA

Chamber: If the agreement is canceled with SOCAR, it will affect business interests of both countries

Baku. 6 September. REPORT.AZ/ If the agreement signed with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), which won the tender on the Greek gas distribution network operator DESFA privatization, is canceled, it will damage the business interests of two countries.' 

Report informs citing the Greek media, Greek-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce issued a statement.

It was noted that any delay of unilateral change by the Greek government, which may cause termination of the agreement, will cause a constraint to the Chamber's activity regarding development of business relations between the two countries.

The Chamber calls the Greek government to possible dialogue with SOCAR in order to eliminate the gap, arising in regard with DESFA. The Chamber noted that completion of the agreement on DESFA will positively affect to the attraction of Azerbaijan's investments in Greece.

Notably, in 2013, SOCAR has won international tender for sale of 66% stake in DESFA for 400 million EUR. Subsequently, however, the European Commission expressed concern over probability of creation of monopolistic entity and started investigations.The Greek government, on the basis of the principle of non-monopoly, offered to sell 17% stake to other company or third party. Italian Snam is interested in purchasing of 17%.

In July of this year, Greek Energy Minister Panos Skurletis has offered some changes to the existing legislation, which will directly affect to the business of DESFA. The amendments, approved by the parliament, dramatically reduces cost of DESFA and future profits.

Yesterday SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev told reporters that there were actions contrary to the tender process regarding DESFA privatiozation, the rules negotiated in advance were violated and that SOCAR expects substantiation from the Greek government.

'Cost of DESFA should be twice lower according to the amended rule. If profitability is lowered, the company's cost shouldn't be the previous. Currently, talks are being held with the Greek government', SOCAR President said.

As for whether SOCAR refuses from acquiring DESFA, R.Abdullayev noted that SOCAR has won the tender and will not refuse: 'We will protect our right to the end', he added. 

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