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Economy

Unpaid Bills Mount, Greek Electricity Suppliers Want Bailout

ATHENS – With Greeks unable to pay electric bills that have doubled – the state is giving them subsidies – the country’s power suppliers said they need state help too with arrears and settlement applications building.

They said their costs have tripled and that customers aren’t paying despite consumers getting state monies to cover up to 80 percent of their bills, leavindg the companies in the lurch unable to cover their expenses either.

The four largest companies said they are plunging deeper into debt – no amount was given – and that the rest have debts of more than 100 million euros ($105.75 million) to the grid operator ADMIE alone, said Kathimerini.

In a letter to Prime Minsiter Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose New Democracy government – facing elections this year or next – they asked for unspecified support measures and to pay the grid operator only what they receive.

The request comes as the companies are set to face the challenge of a heatwave that sees air conditioners cranked to the maximum despite state orders to limit the cooling temperature in state buildings.

The government, in a bid to reduce power consumption, has just opened a platform to give consumers 30-50 percent of the cost of new air conditioners, refrigerators and freezes as replacements.

But that comes with conditions of a review, technicians checking their devices and could take weeks, leaving people with older appliances during a heatwave that use more electricity because the program opened too late.

Adding to the problem is that Russia’s gas company Gazprom – which is exempt from European Union sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, the EU still buying supplies – will turn off natural gas from June 21-28 for maintenance of the TurkStream pipeline.

 

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