Recent privatization trends in Europe

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Privatization Baromoter has just released the most recent edition of their bi-annual newsletter reporting on European privatization activity. In terms of trends, France and the Czech Republic emerged as the largest players during the last semester, with the telecommunications sector receiving particular attention. The increased use of accelerated (secondary) transactions is also noted. In particular, a very comprehensive article by Ioannis Kessides looks at infrastructure privatization and ask whether we have gone too far, or if it is too early to tell?

For much of the 1990s privatization was heralded as the elixir that would transform ailing, lethargic state enterprises into sources of creative productivity and dynamism serving the public interest… But as with all economic elixirs, privatization was oversimplified, oversold, and ultimately disappointing. It has proved to be more difficult to effectively implement and less magical in its accomplishment that what was earlier believed or promised. Thus, there is a growing apprehension about privatization and many now ask if it was pushed too far.

Kessides goes on to discuss the reasons for the discontents over privatization, necessary structural adjustments, the effects of reforms, effective design, and the role of public-private partnerships.

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