Power mar­ket hangs on the han­dling of un­paid bills

Kathimerini English - - Focus - CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

The debt set­tle­ments that power con­sumers have ar­ranged with Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion ap­pear to have gone down the same road as those for debts to the state and the so­cial se­cu­rity funds. Many peo­ple have signed up to the PPC pay­ment pro­grams, al­low­ing them to set­tle debts in up to 36 in­stall­ments, but a large num­ber have proved un­able to keep up with their obli­ga­tions.

Debtors’ in­abil­ity to pay their dues to PPC is like a tick­ing time­bomb for the cor­po­ra­tion, as well as the en­tire elec­tric­ity mar­ket, whose struc­ture is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to the smooth op­er­a­tion of the na­tional power gi­ant. There­fore the mar­ket is keen to see both the com­pany and the new en­ergy min­is­ter, Gior­gos Stathakis, take mea­sures to deal with the prob­lem.

The state­ment by a se­nior en­ergy com­pany of­fi­cial that “PPC must stand on its feet be­cause if it crum­bles it will take the en­tire mar­ket down with it and lead to an en­ergy crash” is in­dica­tive of the wor­ries in­side and out­side the cor­po­ra­tion re­gard­ing its re­sis­tance to pres­sure.

The is­sue of the ex­pired debts was raised at the lat­est PPC board meet­ing, on Novem­ber 8, in which the board ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the num­ber of debtors en­ter­ing the pay­ment pro­grams. How­ever, the PPC work­ers’ union (GENOP) warns that ex­pired debts now stand at 3 bil­lion eu­ros.

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