Public Power Corporation (PPC) employees will be staging a protest outside the environment, energy and climate change ministry on Friday in protest of the planned deregulation of the electricity market, planned to coincide with minister Tina Birbili's meeting with the EU-IMF troika.

PPC employees' federation GENOP-PPC president Nikos Fotopoulos, in a statement to ANA-MPA on Thursday, warned that "even if the government agrees to the troika's recommendations for liberalisation of the market, with which GENOP disagrees, they will first need to be approved by the PPC board of directors in order to be materialised".

And for that to happen, "even if some executives of the company are willing to sign them, the board of directors meeting will have to be held somewhere outside the Land of Fire (Tierra del Fuego)," he said characteristically.

The PPC employees are protesting the planned access of private concerns to lignite-powered electricity production, in which the PPC currently has the monopoly.

The troika's initial recommendation for the sale of 40 percent of the PPC's lignite-powered electricity plants was rejected by the government this past summer, and "equivalent solutions" have been sought since.

GENOP also rejects other proposals that have been put forward for the lease or sale of existing production at cost price or through tenders to private concerns and counter-proposes the tendering and concession to private concerns of the unexploited lignite deposits recently discovered in Drama and Elassona.

"We are not opposed to investments by private concerns, whoever wants and is able to can make them," Fotopoulos said.

He warned, however, that if an agreement is signed on Friday based on the proposals that have already been heard "we will have tough confrontations and strikes".

Any counter-proposal would need to have the approval of the troika.

The demonstration is planned for 10:00 a.m. Friday outside the ministry, where the meeting with the troika is scheduled to begin an hour later.