Power bill dodgers be­ing watched

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

New mon­i­tor­ing soft­ware in­tro­duced by the Public Power Cor­po­ra­tion (PPC) to sep­a­rate free­loaders tak­ing ad­van­tage of the im­po­si­tion of cap­i­tal con­trols to avoid pay­ing their bills from con­sumers who gen­uinely can­not af­ford to set­tle their debts, made some in­ter­est­ing rev­e­la­tions within just the first month of op­er­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the find­ings of the SAP sys­tem that were made public re­cently, PPC lo­cated at least 20 lux­ury vil­las in the At­tica area that have not paid their elec­tric­ity bills over sev­eral months, in­clud­ing one that owes the state-owned com­pany 35,000 eu­ros in ar­rears dat­ing back to 2011 but which had filed for pro­tec­tion from be­ing cut off even though the res­i­dents con­tin­ued to heat the swimming pool.

On the is­lands, the SAP sys­tem sin­gled out 20 busi­nesses, most of them ho­tels, that owe a com­bined to­tal in ex­cess of 4 mil­lion eu­ros to PPC. Among them is a 5star re­sort that re­ported 100 per­cent oc­cu­pancy in the sum­mer sea­son but which has not paid its last 12 elec­tric­ity bills, run­ning up ar­rears of 220,000 eu­ros.

SAP has also been mon­i­tor­ing night­clubs, bars, pas­try shops, cafes and restau­rants across the coun­try, dis­cov­er­ing 100 cases that have com­bined debts of 6 mil­lion eu­ros.

PPC is work­ing with 10 spe­cial­ized law firms to try to re­coup at least 900 mil­lion eu­ros of the to­tal of 2 bil­lion eu­ros that it is owed. The re­main­der is con­sid­ered un­col­lectable, mainly be­cause the debt re­lates to house­holds and busi­nesses that are pro­tected by poverty and bank­ruptcy laws.

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