Hel­lenic Post at risk of col­lapse

Cash-strapped and un­der threat of go­ing un­der, pub­lic mail cor­po­ra­tion is seek­ing 200 mln from the state

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY EVGENIA TZORTZI & CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

State-owned Hel­lenic Post SA (ELTA) is seek­ing a so­lu­tion to its se­ri­ous liq­uid­ity prob­lem in co­op­er­a­tion with the min­istries of Fi­nance and Trans­port, claim­ing to be owed a to­tal of 200 mil­lion eu­ros in rev­enues from the pub­lic ser­vice it sup­plies both to the pub­lic and the pri­vate sec­tor.

This con­cerns serv­ing the state and its pri­vate clients, even in the re- motest parts of the coun­try, a ser­vice that ELTA had priced at 15 mil­lion eu­ros a year up to 2015. This en­tailed an out­stand­ing to­tal of 45 mil­lion for the 2013-15 pe­riod. How­ever, the price was ad­justed to 50 mil­lion per year in Septem­ber 2016, rais­ing the to­tal for those three years to 150 mil­lion, plus an­other 50 mil­lion for last year.

The fact that the state has not paid its dues – even at the lower rate of 15 mil­lion eu­ros per year – has led to the fi­nan­cial as­phyx­i­a­tion of the corpo- ra­tion, with mul­ti­ple con­se­quences not only in terms of liq­uid­ity but also cap­i­tal, which will turn neg­a­tive un­less its claim is sat­is­fied.

To meet its cash re­quire­ments, ELTA has also been forced to with­hold 13 mil­lion eu­ros due to Eurobank that ELTA had col­lected in the bank’s ac­count based on the two sides’ agree­ment con­cern­ing Eurobank-owned Hel­lenic Post­bank.

Sources from the com­pany’s man­age­ment claim the prob­lem with the pend­ing state pay­ment will prob­a­bly be re­solved next week, as it is in con­stant con­sul­ta­tions with the gov­ern­ment, adding that the Eurobank is­sue will also be over­come soon. The bank has pro­posed the so­lu­tion of the prob­lem through the sign­ing of a new con­tract, with fresh col­lat­eral.

The elec­tric­ity mar­ket is also feel­ing hot un­der the col­lar as amassed debts have ex­ceeded 800 mil­lion eu­ros. Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion’s ar­rears to the In­de­pen­dent Power 1.0513 Trans­mis­sion Op­er­a­tor (ADMIE) and the Hel­lenic Elec­tric­ity Distri­bu­tion Net­work Op­er­a­tor (DEDDIE) ex­ceed 600 mil­lion eu­ros, while the deficit of the Re­new­able En­ergy Sources ac­count stood at 206 mil­lion at the end of 2016.

En­ergy groups have in­formed the En­ergy and Econ­omy min­istries of the risk that the mar­ket could go bust in the next cou­ple of months un­less im­me­di­ate mea­sures to as­sist its liq­uid­ity are taken.

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