Journalists needed to put a lot of pressure on Environment Minister to reveal who will pay the bill so that needy Greeks will have electricity again. Minister Giannis Maniatis had to admit that the “social policy”, the Greek coalition government generously announced, will be paid by the rest of the society with an extra charge of 50 cents per year.
According to Maniatis, the measure refers to some 10,000-15,000 households across the country that are registered to soup kitchens offered by municipalities and the church. These households are apparently without electricity due to debts and the reconnection fee will be paid by the rest of the society.
Those who experience power outage but are not registered in the soup kitchens will have to be registered to the “social policy invoice” of the Greek Public Power Company.
Before deciding to charge the rest of the society with the electricity of the needy, a conflict had broken out between mayors and the government with the latter to have initially asked municipalities to come up for the reconnection cost. With many municipalities in debts, the mayors had rejected the government proposal saying “this was not a viable solution” and “it was populism”.
The options that the state or the Greek PPC (DEH) pays for the reconnection cost were off the table too.
Minister Maniatis did not revealed who will pay for the electricity bill of the social weak and journalists did not ask him either.
The measure ‘charging 50 cent to all” was not welcome by the Greeks who blamed the government of making social policies on the shoulders of the others.”
This mindset has less to do with a negative approach to solidarity with the needy but more with mistrust against the state.
A rough calculation of cost for reconnection and charging PPC subscribers with the reconnection cost:
cost: 15,000 reconnection x €40 reconnection fee = €600,000
revenue: 8,000,000 PPC subscribers x €o,50 charge = €4,000,000
Excepted from the 0.50 euro charge are: the 15,000 subscribers and some 400,000 PPC subscribers who pay electricity prices reduced by 42% (“social policy invoices”) as they belong to vulnerable groups of society (low incomers with 12,000 euro annual income, more than 67% invalidity etc)
Yet, if one subtracts this special groups of PPC subscribers, DEH will cash at least some 3,500,000 euro. Provided the cost for reconnection is 600,000 euro where will the rest of some €2,900,000 go?
And, of course, the question remains open: who will pay for the electricity bills of the needy?
ΒΤW: According to local media CretaLive, coalition government party Nea Dimocratia owes to PPC 600,000 euro and despite the arrangement of payment in installments, the party of PM Samaras does not manage to pay in time. But if you are a common Greek, the PPC will cut the electricity if you’re late in paying even one installment.