Minister to set tougher power bill collection terms for dodgers

Power utility PPC customers seen as able but unwilling to pay their electricity bills can expect stricter terms, expected to be included in a package of new policies to be announced in Greek Parliament this Sunday by the recently appointed energy minister Costis Hatzidakis.

The minister will aim for a drastic collection record improvement at PPC, currently burdened by poor finances. The power utility’s more ruthless approach will need to be implemented by the power utility’s next administration.

Manolis Panagiotakis announced his resignation from the state-controlled power company’s top post shortly after the July 7 election.

Though strategic electricity bill dodgers are expected to be shown no further tolerance, struggling households should keep receiving subsidized support under the new program, it is believed.

PPC’s unpaid receivables, including monthly-installment payback programs, have reached 2.7 billion euros, an enormous sum given the size of the power utility and Greek economy.

Of this total, 800 million euros, slightly less than a third, is owed by 60,000 individuals who are not living in poverty, but, on the contrary, are affluent, Hatzidakis, the energy minister, told local media yesterday.