Risk of blackout form strikes in Public Power Company

Risk of blackout form strikes in Public Power Company


By Spiros Sideris – Athens

Greece will live under the threat of power outages and a blackout in the coming days as the unions of Public Power Company (PPC) have decided to proceed to repeated 48-hour strikes, starting Wednesday, in response to the creation of the “Small PPC”. Both PPC and the Independent Transmission System Operator (ADMHE) are on hand to prevent potential blackouts and reduce, as much as possible, power cuts due to lack of electric charges.

“They have no right to turn off switches. It is sabotage against the state. It is not acceptable to sink the country in darkness”, says the government, while some executives speak of a requisition. On the other hand, the unions appear determined to put out of order any base unit and mine that belongs to PPC, with their forces mainly focusing on those that will be allocated to the “Small PPC”.

The government put into effect all the political and legal weapons against the broader front set up by the opposition and trade unionists, while PPC and the Transmission System Operator are on hand to prevent a generalized blackout to begin with, and to reduce the power cuts due to lack of electric charges, as much as possible.

If the minimum power before the collapse is ensured, the problem will be limited to local blackouts. In regard with the problem caused by the strike of workers in PPC, ADMHE is expected to formally inform the PPC and the Network Administrator today, to proceed with planned rolling blackouts. The problem will be assessed in local areas individually and act accordingly.

The government, however, appears determined not to allow the country to sink into darkness amid the summer and the tourist season. “They have no right to draw down switches. It is sabotage against the state… to sink the country in darkness and become hostage to a guild, this is not permitted. The country will not be governed by the trade unionists”, the government spokesperson Sophia Voultepsi said yesterday. The Secretary of the New Democracy Andrew Papamimikos moreover spoke directly of a requisition.

The work on the draft Law on “Small PPC” is expected to begin today in the relevat parliamentary committee and might be completed until July 11. The government has committed to proceed with legal drafting improvements to ensure the adoption of all existing obligations of PPC over its workers, pension funds and local communities by the new company.

The “Small PPC” is an attempt to create a new sustainable directly competitive company, which will have about 30% of the employees and customer base of the existing PPC.

The production units that will belong to “Small PPC” will be the equivalent of the 70% that will remain in PPC. The same will happen with the company’s business clients. This means that “Small PPC” will include “good” and “bad” units and “good” and “bad” customers. Ie, It will be an “equivalent” of PPC.

The main objective of the project is to developed a healthy competition in the electricity market in a short period to the benefit of the consumers and to improve the conditions of market participants.