Municipal police officers on motorbikes hold up the Greek flag during a protest outside Parliament in Athens. File picture: Reuters

Greece will stick to its programme of privatisations, a key part of bailout conditions, despite the sacking of the head of the privatisation fund, a government official assured on Monday.

Rescue conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund and European Union require Greece to de-nationalise parts of its economy to raise funds and increase efficiency.

“The programme of privatisation is not affected, it will continue as planned,” a source at the Greek ministry of finance who wished to remain anonymous, told AFP.

On Sunday, Finance Minister Yannis Strournaras dismissed Stelios Stavridis, the president of Taiped which overseas privatisations.

This came after it emerged in Greek newspapers that Stavridis had travelled on board the plane of Dimitris Meilissanidis, a businessman who was part of the consortium which last week bought Opap, a state gaming group, for 652 million euros ($870 million).

Stavridis said he “had nothing to hide” and denied that there had been any “favouritism”.

The privatisation programme has run into long delays and has been cut back, and was a point of friction in recent tough negotiations resulting in approval for the next slice of rescue loans for the country.

Athens is under pressure from creditors to speed-up its privatisation plans, which it recently revised to 1.6 million euros ($2.1 million) from an initial target of 2.6 million ($3.4 million) earlier this year. - AFP