Greece to privatise 50bn euros of state assets

Greece has announced plans to sell 50bn euros (£44bn; $72bn) of state assets in a bid to get its finances back on track.

Government stakes in the utility power company PPC, the telecom operator OTE and ATEbank will be sold off by 2015.

The government's mid-term budget plan also aims to save 3bn euros, of which 2bn euros will come from cutting tax breaks.

The moves will help it meet conditions of its 115bn euros bail-out.

A document released by Prime Minister George Papandreou's office stated: "The size of the fiscal adjustment that needs to be achieved by our country in 2012-15 is about 23bn euros, or about 10% of GDP [gross domestic product]."

The finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, said the cuts would keep the country within its targets.

More details of its budget plans will be revealed after Easter, which falls on 24 April, to try to steady investors' faith in its solvency.

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German banks would not be able to shrug off $39bn or £24bn of potential losses on Portuguese, Irish and Greek loans as a matter of little consequence”
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Robert Peston

Business editor, BBC News

Peston: Could Germany afford the PIGS?

Mr Papaconstantinou said: "The plan will be completed in the coming weeks. It will be then submitted to parliament. We are all determined to change our country in every possible way."

He said the mid-term fiscal package would be designed to cut spending to 44% of gross domestic product by 2015.