BBG: Greeks Forced to Steal Electricity to Survive


In a detailed report, Bloomberg refers to the thousands of Greek households that reconnect their electricity supply illegally on their own, as they cannot afford electricity bills. The reason behind Bloomberg’s report was the tragic death of a 13-year-old girl in Thessaloniki by carbon monoxide poisoning caused after a mother used a brazier to heat their home. The mother could not afford heating or electricity which resulted in her power supply being cut off.

The article mentions that the inability of Greek households to pay their electricity bills is another consequence of the high rate of unemployment in Greece. In fact, the number of the Greeks that are currently unemployed is estimated at 1.37 million.

According to the Regulatory Authority for Energy there was 257,002 disconnections because of unpaid bills in the first nine months of the year 2013, putting the country on pace to surpass last year’s total by 5.4 percent.

This situation of electricity power disconnections, led to the initiation of “electricians’ movement,” comprised of a group of people who illegally restore power supplies for themselves and others. Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator S.A’s data show approximately 1 of 10 households will have their electricity power supply reconnected illegally.

Bloomberg: “This practice is part of a wider pattern of protest and resistance sweeping Greece. Angry citizens have formed solidarity committees that have seized state buildings, distributed food and medicine and helped fuel the rise of the Coalition of the Radical Left, called SYRIZA, into Greece’s main opposition party.”

According to the power distribution company, HEDNO, there were 3,500 Greek households that had their electricity supply reconnected illegally, 310 of which have been taken to court, as Melina Kalampoka, a spokeswoman, mentioned in an e-mail. The company wants to avoid prosecuting low-income or other “socially vulnerable” families, she stated.

The austerity measures demanded by Greece’s international creditors in return for their financial support, led Greek people into this desperate situation. With the cuts in their salaries and pensions, the high rates of unemployment, the new taxes and of course the increase in the consumption tax, it is no wonder that an average Greek household will not be able to pay the electricity bill.


  1. Surely the Drachma would have been better than all this pain & suffering. In a European country a mother loses her child while doing her duty to keep her child warm, what is this, why is this, just to save that damned Euro. Just look at how many thousands of lives have been ruined & the amount of suicides, & for what, a coin????

  2. Leftist cheer on stealing!

    There are three ways to income.

    a. work
    b. charity
    c. stealing

    Most people would agree the first option is the rational one. No one is forced to steal. Individuals make the choice to steal. They could have made the choice to work to produce something rather than to steal.

  3. Granted had we not been in the Euro we would have been able to fudge our way out of debt by printing drachmas but ultimately thats still cheating.

    Our economic problems are the result of years of government overspending. coupled with tax evasion, coupled with the fact our economy doesn’t produce enough to provide the level of service that some Greeks believe they are entitled to.

    To fix our economy, the most important part isn’t the government. The most important part is Greeks waking up the reality that foreign credit has dried up, our government is no longer going to play the role of their mommies allowance. So the onus falls on greek people themselves have to start producing things.

    If we are producing good and services in demand (e.g. technology), we will have the income to tax for services. If we produce nothing but olives, cheap hotels for tourists, and demands for handouts… all the money redistribution scams in the world will still amount to poverty (see North Korea)

  4. “way out of debt by printing drachmas but ultimately thats still cheating.” do all countries with their own currency and central bank cheat? (see images)

    i notice how you casually gloss over another major, if not the biggest contributor, to the crisis – the euro as DeepSeaDiver mentioned. The euro has made Greece unproductive and noncompetitive. could it be that you are a lapdog for the ND/PASOK traitors who inherently voted to keep the Euro with their foreign bank bailouts using Greece as the pass through conduit vehicle, as 85% of the bailout funds went to foreign entities?

    governments do shape the economy with 2 very powerful weapons, 1 fiscal and the other monetary. Greece’s government has failed, and continues to fail, to set up the proper framework for the economy to become productive again. newsflash for you – the largest handout of all, which you never once complain about, are the trillions in bank bailouts of which several hundred billion is attributed to the Greek “bailout”. The other handouts primarily goes to the ND/PASOK tax cheaters, nepotistic Samaras cronies, and parasitic government employees who vote, unlike you as you are not a Greek citizen, for the Euro money spigot status quo.

  5. Electricity should be free according to the Greek socialists,LOL.Also food,drinks,water,gazoline,clothing,medicine etc…….The Socialists Mirage: to have everything to free…..only that it is not free, but paid with OUR money!

  6. It’s not the Euro thats to blame for our uncompetitiveness. If that were the case, the Germans… who also use the exact same Euro… wouldn’t be an export machine.

    The fundamental problem with our economy isn’t even our government (populist nonsense). The problem is a lack of productivity among Greek workers.

    An average full time employed German works LESS hours than an average full time employed Greek but within those hours the Germans produce far more. Likewise a single German worker on average produces far more than a single Chinese worker This productivity is one of the reason the Germans can still have high wages despite cheap Chinese labour.

    The chief advantage of Germans is that they leverage technology to get productivity gains. They also know the importance of economies of scale to get productivity boasts. On average big companies are far more productive than little companies (e.g. Volkswagen, Daimler. Bayer, BMW, Porsche, Bertelsmann, etc) Compare that with Greece where rather than focus on technology we sell trinkets to tourists. Rather than supporting multinational corporations.. parties like like Golden Dawn, Syriza, and anarchists rant against them.

    Moving off the Euro and back to the drachma would still represent a default. Whether done in the framework of the Euro or out it doesn’t really make a difference from economic standpoint.

    Without focusing on technology and economies of scales, Greece will always be second rate. No amount of money redistribution scams produce wealth. Only working smart does that.

  7. If you want to talk “traitors’.. I would recommend you look at the horrendous record of leftists lobbying for illegals (and some even treasonously collaborate with Skopians)

  8. It is you that wants the status quo. The government has clearly made massive cuts. That represents change. An absolutely necessary change that is required to finally balance our budgets.

    Some fanatics don’t want that though. They don’t want to change. They want to continue being shameless parasites that live of the government (aka other Greeks, Germans, Trokia, foreign creditors etc..) rather than focusing on what they themselves are producing and what they themselves are giving.

  9. You would know all about begging and theivery Skopians. You try to steal the history of other people and beg foriegners to help you

    Your ethnic Bulgarian ancestors would be so proud of you pretending to be ‘macedonian”.,

  10. Guest, First of all the real reason behind this crisis is the massive borrowing from foreign lenders to pay for our scum-bag politicians together with our public servants and their parasites from all walks of life including some in the private sector…I do not know if you live in Greece or not but from your comments I do understand that you do not have any idea about how deep corruption within our government corridors is…Till now they did not investigated anyone from the “Lagarde List” while in other countries they used the list to collect unpaid Taxes from evaders but not here…We want to work, we want to set-up our own businesses here in Greece but because of the massive corruption in the public sector it’s hard to do so…Some corrupt politicians have large interests in some related businesses here in Greece supported by the public service sector which is blocking the country’s prosperity from expanding…Greek professionals left the country because there is no help from the government to open and free the market same as in other European countries…Greece is governed by some corrupt politicians including some well known Greek names for personal interests…Till then, we will suffer…

  11. It is not our politicians that is the main problem. This is just what populist finger pointer want us to think to evade responsibility for their own actions.

    The problem is in the mentality of many of our people. We have been a far feft country for decades. Putting aside we are one of the few western countries that treats communists as serious, even parties like ND were essentially leftist (Keep in mind they helped spend us into the ground) Allegedly “Far rightwing” Golden Dawn. Economically speaking, socialist to the bone.

    We had no small government parties in Greece preaching personal responsibility. We had a system where people just voted for the party they though would give them the best government rewards.

    The solution, break this mentality of thinking of governrment as some sort of pancea for all our ills. We have to stop thinking less about the government and more about how we ourselves can produce and help Greece.

    it we are all sticking our hands out and waiting for others to save us… we will suffer.

  12. Like everything else in Greece, it’s not what you own, but what you can steal.You need a house and don’t want to pay rent? Steal it by borrowing from the bank and then not paying them back. You want electricity? Steal it.

    From the government on down, Greece is a race of thieves and the courts back them up.

  13. One preventable death by an idiot gives everybody in Greece a license to steal electricity.

  14. Again wrong comment…You are either a supporter of Pasok or ND or you are from another planet…

  15. he supports both and thinks Samaras is the greatest thing to happen to Greece. in short a traitor.

  16. didn’t realize that the drachma and NO bailouts is the status quo.

    ND/PASOK, the parties you support but can’t vote for as you are NOT a Greek citizen, = status quo

  17. austerity in a high/increasing unemployment, deflationary environment never works out. seems like you need the economic lesson.

    the austerity you support is the reason Greece has 27% unemployment, 60% youth unemployment, a massive brain drain, and a completely decimated economy. austerity was imposed at precisely the exact time.

    handouts like all the bailouts you support for your foreign bank masters and nepotistic ND/PASOK tax evaders. those are the real handouts.

  18. nope that would be Samaras and ND/PASOK. keep on diverting attention from the real problems (ND/PASOK, economy, Turkey, etc) though to hide the fact that you are an american traitor ,that supports the 2 parties that got us into this mess and continue to make it worse, posing as a Greek.

    Now where have we heard these psychopathic rants before. oh that’s right “”this comment was deleted””

  19. you can’t compare 2 completely different countries with different resources, populations, geography, and vastly different starting points from when the Euro was instituted. 1 German Euro cannot be the same as 1 Greek euro. There needs to be re-balancing mechanisms in a system where there are vastly different countries and resources. The EURO helped the northern countries at the expense of the southern ones. Not to mention the crisis was partly engineered to steal Greece’s wealth and facilitated a deposit flight into highly levered insolvent northern european banks, which are the primary beneficiaries of the Greek “bailout” which you support.

  20. You keep trying to imply I am not Greek but If anything it is you that doesn’t appear Greek. For instance, where are you when Skopians come attacking Greeks this forum? A non-Greek wouldn’t care.

  21. “you can’t compare 2 completely different countries”

    No. I can/ Your claim was the the Euro was to blame. Now you are contradicting yourself by adding other factors. Finland hasn’t collaped from the Euro. Nor Belgium. Nor Austria. etc.. I would say it is quite obvious the Euro isn’t the chief problem.

    Indeed their are differences between countries but that doesn’t change the fundamental laws of supply and demand. Outliers like oil rich states are only temporary. As soon as the oil is gone, their standard of living is shot.

    If you have unproductive workers, focused on unskilled industries that don’t innovate and leverage technology to boast productivity, that are against economies of scale… the results are the same. Poverty.

  22. We’ll have to disagree then. Unless they are handcapped, I think any Greek waiting around for the government (or someone other than themselves) to fix their lives is an irresponsible shameless populist.

  23. If you want triators… look no further than the communist in Syriza you so dearly love that lobby for Skopians and illegals flooding our country.. Of course you being a non-Greek don’t care about hellenism.

  24. You Skopjian’s should know all about bs. Your ethnic Bulgarian ancestors would be so proud of you pretending to be Macedonians.

  25. Changes must be implemented in order to prosper, do you understand you thick head???

  26. Why are you taking personal shots? Did I take a personal shot at you?

    Of course changes should occur (and are occurring) but for any Greek that has talent and works hard there is plenty of opportunity even now.

    Resorting to populist language like the antigovernment extremists that troll this website doesn’t help our country. It only helps politically destabilize it (and for the record, many of those you see here ranting about our government are not ethnic Greeks)

  27. Other than trying to pawn off your extreme nationalism as ethics, you help no one but yourself. You likely don’t even have money to give. Given how much time you spend here harassing Greeks, you are probably are unemployed and still live with your parents.

  28. First, I said nothing about giving people a licence to steal electricity. Second, you must be a very heartless person to call a mother that has just lost her daughter an idiot. She has to live with her loss for the rest of her life. Not a nice comment from, I would think, not a nice person.
    Bear in mind, “if” Greece had returned to the Drachma at the very beginning, things would be allot better now than they are & according to the well respected Financial Times this week, they predict Greece returning to the Drachma within four years. Check it & see.

  29. I was under the impression this was a site for anyone to comment. As for “beggar fake Greex”, correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe it has been Greece holding the begging bowl for the last 3&1/2 years & EU tax payers throwing money in. I also do not understand your comment “cant make less of themselves”? Like everyone else on here, some things I agree with & some I dont

  30. Hey Skopian! Your own Foreign Minister Denko Maleski publicly admitted that you INVENTED your history.

    “The idea that Alexander the Great belongs to us was at the mind of some outsider groups only. These groups were insignificant in the first years of our independence. But the big problem is that the old Balkan nations have been learned to legitimate themselves through their history. In the Balkans to be recognized as a nation you need to have history of 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Since you (Greece) forced us to invent a history, we did INVENT it.”
    — (FYROM Foreign Minister Denko Maleski)