Greek Poor To Get Electricity Back



The aftermath of a candle fire in a Greek home without electricity
The aftermath of a candle fire in a Greek home without electricity

Greece said it will turn the power back on in households where people can’t afford to pay their electric bills following the carbon monoxide death of a girl whose had turned to using a makeshift stove, and after a fire caused by a candle in another home in the same circumstances.

Officials said they will set up a vetting system to sort out those who can pay but aren’t from those who can’t afford it because of their financial circumstances, and will direct the Public Power Corporation (PPC) to not turn off the the electricity of others struggling to pay their bills.

It could be a difficult task as more than 257,000 households are now without electricity in Greece during a crushing economic crisis in which the government has imposed big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions on the orders of international lenders, and put property tax bills in utility bills under the threat of a power cut for non-payment.

With winter setting in, households without fireplaces or electricity are turning to often dangerous ways to keep warm, including faulty stoves and braziers, raising fears of another tragedy or people going cold in the dark.

After talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis said he he would ask municipal authorities to provide PPC with lists of poor families, noting that the authorities would then decide on a case-by-case basis which households are genuinely unable to pay their electricity bills and ensure they have power.

“We will not allow any of our fellow citizens to die of cold,” Maniatis said.

The government’s initiative came after a fire broke out in an apartment in the Kordelio suburb of Thessaloniki as the tenants, whose power supply was cut off in May 2012, had left candles unattended.

PPC issued a statement saying that the power board had not made the decision to cut the electricity but had been asked to do so by the owner of the apartment who had complained that the tenants were not paying their bills.

 


7 COMMENTS

  1. Only when we have a big and consistent primary surplus will we have the moral leverage to argue for debt reduction. Doing expensive things like giving free electricity to hundreds of thousands of people is a stupide. It just encourages a mentality of government dependence and increases deficits.

    Virtually all those people that claim they can’t pay their electricity bill have a way to pay. Move to a smaller residence so they can afford to pay. Giving free electricity is a stupid move. It just encourages the mentality of government dependence that got us into this debt mess as well as increase deficits.

  2. Just encourages the mentality of government dependence that got us into this debt mess as well as increase deficits.

    Just encourages the mentality of government dependence that got us into this debt mess as well as increase deficits.

    Just encourages the mentality of government dependence that got us into this debt mess as well as increase deficits.

    etc..

  3. What first world country pays the electricity bills of its citizens?

    It’s not about heartlessness. Where is the government going to find the money to pay for hundreds of thousands of households.. other than by adding debt to our already extreme debt?

    We have to stop being so dependent on the government. We are helping Greeks by giving them jobs but we aren’t doing fellow Greeks a favour by making them dependent on the government. Its like feeding pigeons. They will eventually keep coming and start sh-ting on you. If you talk to wildlife experts they always say don’t feed the animals because it creates dependence. It is cruelty to the animals.

    We need Greeks to focus taking care of themselves and their own local communities. Weed them off their excessive government dependence that created this mess and turn them into self-dependent producers. Its a painful process but that’s what has to happen if our country is to survive.

  4. Help
    ——-

    – Someone gets sick or loses their job and need *temporary* assistance
    – assistance to children and handicapped that can’t take care of themselves
    – providing jobs
    – good advice.

    Harmful
    ——-
    – lamenting how someone else should help the poor rather than taking money out of our own pockets

    – giving people with two hands and two legs free things in perpetuity

    Our economy has been down for serveral years now. Greeks need to learn they can’t keep blaming the government in perpetuity for their economic problems. They have to start utilizing heir own brain and hands to help their situation.

  5. I agree in principle and the need for a safety net of sorts to ensure people do not die this winter. Many are not responsible for the mess that is Greece but have become economic casualties. In this vacuum between self-sufficiency and perpetual dependency there must be some accommodation to maintain life whether it is by giving or sharing. Government has been largely responsible for increasing the number and plight of the nation’s poor who are in a tight spot until the economy recovers. I applaud the quick temporary fix to provide electrical power but I too am concerned this does not become another giveaway to be abused by the givers and the takers. It’s a fine line to walk, one that I hope is not too long..

  6. “Many are not responsible for the mess that is Greece but have become economic casualties.”

    When push comes to shove people are responsible for protecting their own lives. While most Greeks claim to support giving money to help Greeks…they also keep arguing some other Greek is responsible (vis-a-vis the government)

    This behavior has to be called out. its not patriotism. or self-sacrifice. Its about leaching if Greeks aren’t willing to voluntarily help one another through private sector than they are basically behaving like the communists. Patriots only when it comes time to asking for handouts from other Greeks. the rest of the time only concerned about their self-interest but trying to pawn it off as altruism.

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