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Debt-Crushed Greek Electric Utility Could Be Lights Out

Αssociated press

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, heavy excavators and vehicles of the Public Power Company, PPC, operate in the South Field lignite mine near Kozani town, northern Greece. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS - Greece’s electric utility the Public Power Corporation is on the verge of collapse and needs 300 million euros ($339.21 million) to avoid clauses kicking in that would call in loans that are due.

With the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA having been lenient in letting people have big discounts and not getting their power turned off, PPC’s situation has worsened, especially after the company and Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis ignored recommendations from the McKinsey consulting company to streamline operations, said Kathimerini.

At a recent meeting Chief Financial Officer Alexandra Konida informed PPC’s management about the negative financial results in the year’s first quarter, doubting whether obligations could be met to suppliers, contractors and market entities after  August, the paper said.

Konida reportedly said unless the company’s finances improve that it would need at least 600 million euros ($678.42 million) in the second quarter to keep going, with no word on what would happen otherwise.

PPC in 2018 lost 903.8 million euros ($1.021 billion) and the situation got worse in the first quarter that showed losses of 254 million euros ($287.2 million) and negative earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 80 million euros ($90.46 million) the report added.

With July 7 snap elections little more than two weeks away, PPC’s management was said to be scrambling to find ways to improve the sinking revenue picture to stave off having to make immediate loan payments to banks and take care of suppliers, who otherwise could also force an immediate call on the notes.