Hatzidakis: the fate of the country and of PPC are intertwined
As regards the supposed sell-off of PPC Hatzidakis said, ‘Some say that we want to privatise PPC. My response to them is to worry not. There are no buyers.’
The plan to save the Public Power Corporation (PPC) was presented today by Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis who briefed the Parliamentary Committee on Production and Commerce on the government’s efforts to clean up the company.
He said that without these planned measures there would be dramatic consequences when on 24 October Ernst and Young is expected to announce its viability report for the company.
“Many would not envy our position, yet we must do the best we can… We want to save the company. If PPC collapses then the country collapses and I want that to be understood both domestically and in Brussels,” Hatzidakis declared.
‘No buyers for PPC, privatisation not an issue’
As regards the supposed sell-off of PPC Hatzidakis said, “Some say that we want to privatise PPC. My response to them is to worry not. There are no buyers. There are no crazy people who would choose to invest.”
Hatzidakis said that for PPC to be viable in the coming year possibly over 900mn euros will be required.
“The markets understand our intention to protect the company,” Hatzidakis declared.
He said that prior plans during the Samaras administration to create a small PPC have been abandoned.
Referring to NOME electricity auctions in which PPC sold electricity below cost, Hatzidakis said that PPC lost 600mn euros which its competitors gained.
Delinquent debt to PPC
As reagrds delinquent debt to PPC, Hatzidakis said it leaped from 1.4bn euros to 2.5 billion euros in 2018.
He said the government’s intention is not to chase poor people and that for half of delinquent debt only 60,000 people and businesses who owe 800mn euros are responsible.
Hatzidakis announced immediate measures to bolster PPC’s liquidity and tomorrow PPC’s Board will discuss the rationalisation of pricing.
He also said the government will reduce the home electricity discounts for PPC employees from the current 75 percent to 30 percent.
The discount for those who pay their electricity bills on time will be reduced from 10% to 5% and the benefit for each household will be 2.5 euros monthly, according to Hatzidakis.
Chasing delinquent debtors
Hatzidakis said regarding PPC’s Social Benefits Services (YKO) which entail discounts for vulnerable social groups that the state will foot the 200mn euro bill.
He also spoke of plans,which began under the company’s previous management, to securitise part of the delinquent debt, and said this will help solve the company’s liquidity problem.