New power cut looming for high-profile Atrina Tower

The capital’s 17-floor Atrina Center Tower, the business home for numerous high-profile enterprises, is proving to be a headache for the main power utility PPC, which cut power supply to the building about a month ago over unpaid electricity bills and may now need to do so again.

Tenants at the building, one of the Greek capital’s tallest and located in the up-market Marousi district, owe about 1.4 million to 1.5 million euros to PPC. Amid the woes, the building’s administrator, Andreas Foustanos, a celebrity plastic surgeon, has just resigned from the tower post.

PPC has advised a tax division handling cases concerning major wealth, whose offices happen to be located at the tower, to have an independent power supply connection installed in order to avoid the repercussions of a new general power cut at the building.

According to sources, PPC contacted the tax division’s head officials yesterday, enquiring as to whether any action had been taken for the installment of an independent power suppy system. No moves appear to have been made.

Other unconfirmed sources noted that an electricity project contractor had given the building’s tax division a quote of over 200,000 euros for the installation of a new and independent medium-voltage power connection, a cost that has dissuaded the tax department from proceeding. PPC officials have commented that a medium-voltage connection is not necessary for the tax office’s requirements, despite its heavy load of computer systems. A low-voltage connection, which would cost considerably less, will suffice, they noted.

The ordeal at the Atrina Tower is developing into a messy situation. The tax division operating within the building does not appear willing to have a new independent power meter installed any time soon, while the building’s tenants do not seem prepared to service the accumulated debt owed to PPC.

Last month, following intervention from Alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani, tenants at Atrina gathered 200,000 euros and made a payment to PPC to have the building’s power supply reconnected.

The ongoing ordeal is beginning to indicate that certain high-profile entrepreneurial figures based at the tower are using their co-tenant tax division for protection. At this stage, a further power cut seems to be the most likely next step.