For years, municipal administrations throughout the country, as well as associated companies, were not paying their electricity bills to main power utility PPC, but the latter’s officials did not seem to mind. This can be presumed as the resulting debt owed by such entities to PPC was not accumulated over the past year or so. Instead, it has been a gradual process that has lasted at least a decade.
Simply said, municipal administrations, as well as companies and organizations linked to them, were not paying their power bills and PPC just kept turning a blind eye.
At present, 70 municipalities owe PPC about 20 million euros. Moreover, numerous companies linked to them, water supply and sewage companies leading the way, owe the power utility an additional 76 million euros, bringing the total close to 100 million euros.
Wondering how and why PPC’s previous administrations had maintained such tolerance for unpaid municipal and municipal-linked bills while allowing arrears to accumulate stands as an extremely valid question.
Action, however, is now being taken. A fortnight ago, PPC’s collections department sent notifications to the aforementioned 70 municipalities, whose payment records rate as the worst in the country. They were warned electricity supply will be cut if they do not proceed with payback arrangements. Follow-up warnings are planned to be sent this week. PPC will provide a 10-to-15 day period for debtors to make arrangements and settle their amounts owed through installments. Otherwise, the power utility says it will cut power supply. PPC officials believe the pressure will force municipalities and related units to cooperate.
A test run has already just been staged on Crete, concerning nine of the island’s municipalities owing amounts to PPC, as well as a local economic growth agency, OAK. A number of these have already begun paying back parts of their amounts owed to PPC.