Greek legislation on strategic investments: the next golden share case before the European Court of Justice?
SourceEuropean Company Law
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n 2008, Greece introduced some very important provisions on investment in Greek strategic companies (Law 3631/2008).1 This legislation was adopted mainly for the purpose of defending certain privatized 2 state companies (called DEKO (Public Benefit State Companies)) in which the Greek Government still holds a stake. While Greece was willing to allow investors to buy significant percentages of shares, it was reluctant to allow such investors to increase their shareholding beyond certain levels and to thereby acquire control of these national ‘champions’. Therefore, it decided to adopt special provisions curtailing the possibility thereof. After a careful examination of the Greek legislation, the European Commission has decided that the restrictions constitute unjustified restrictions on the free movement of capital and the freedom of establishment. In accordance with the process of Articles 226–228 EC, the European Commission has sent Greece a formal request to eliminate the restrictions on investment in strategic companies introduced by Law 3631/2008.3 Keywords: Golden Shares, Greek legislation, strategic companies, EU Law, internal market, freedom of establishment, free movement of capital, Articles 43 and 56 EC Treaty