PPC to con­tinue with power cuts

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Parts of Attica, Crete and Rhodes were among the ar­eas af­fected by con­trolled power cuts by the Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion (PPC) yes­ter­day as its work­ers’ union, GENOP, be­gan rolling 48-hour strikes to protest gov­ern­ment plans to pri­va­tize the com­pany.

The strike by the union­ists put nine power plants in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions out of ac­tion, which prompted the na­tional grid op­er­a­tor, DESMIE, to ask PPC to re­duce out­put be­cause there was a dan­ger of the im­bal­ances in de­mand caus­ing a ma­jor black­out. PPC also had to make more use of its hy­dro­elec­tric plants as union­ists blocked the en­trance to coal-fired units in Kozani, north­ern Greece.

The power to some is­lands and parts of Athens was cut be­tween noon and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. House­holds can ex­pect sim­i­lar cuts to­day as there ap­peared to be no sign of GENOP let­ting up in its ac­tion af­ter failed talks with Fi­nance Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venize­los and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou over the week­end.

PPC re­peated its calls for con­sumers to limit their use of elec­tric­ity as much as pos­si­ble dur­ing those hours to en­sure that there are as few out­ages as pos­si­ble.

Union­ists have called the ac­tion two weeks be­fore the gov­ern­ment is to sub­mit leg­is­la­tion in Par­lia­ment paving the way for the state to re­duce its hold­ings in PPC from 51 per­cent to 34 per­cent. GENOP claims that this will lead to con­sumers pay­ing more for their elec­tric­ity.

The sell-off pro­vi­sion is part of the gov­ern­ment’s con­tro­ver­sial midterm fis­cal pro­gram, which also fore­sees new tax in­creases and spend­ing cuts in the pub­lic sec­tor.

Mean­while, the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor unions, ADEDY and GSEE, have called a 48-hour strike for Mon­day and Tues­day, when Par­lia­ment is due to de­bate and vote on the midterm fis­cal plan. GSEE has called for a protest in front of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion of­fices in Athens for 10.30 a.m. to­day. ADEDY has planned a rally in Syn­tagma Square, where the so-called “In­dig­nant” gath­ered for the 27th evening in a row yes­ter­day, for 7.30 p.m. A group of 30 In­dig­nant pro­test­ers be­gan walk­ing from Sparta to Athens, about 250 kilo­me­ters, on Sun­day to join the protest to­day.

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