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Greek Unpaid Electricity Bills Grow By €4 Million Per Day: Over 700,000 Pay In Installments

Tyler Durden's picture


Judging by the collapsing Greek yields, which at this rate may drop below US bonds soon enough, the Greek economy has never been stronger. Sadly, manipulated bond levels driven by yet another bout of pre-QE euphoria (suddenly the conventional wisdom is that the ECB will conduct QE in a few months as first explained here in November) no longer reflect anything besides a massive liquidity glut and momentum chasing lemmings. Alas, as usual the reality on the European ground is much worse. The latest example comes from the Greek Public Power Corporation which has reported that Greek households and corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their electricity bills. In total, debts to the power utility from unpaid bills currently amount to some €1.3 billion and growing at an average rate of €4 million per day. Also known as the Grecovery.

Not surprisingly, it is the poorest households who have the bulk of the debt. Remember: "the rich hold assets, the poor have debt."

Kathimerini reports more:

The lion’s share of that debt is owed by low- and medium-voltage consumers – households and very small enterprises. The total arrears of these categories amount to an estimated 600 million euros, of which some 65 percent concerns households. The debts of the broader public sector amount to 190 million euros. The arrears of corporations connected to the medium-voltage network total some 130 million euros, while mining company Larco alone has run up debts of more than 135 million euros.

So since such a substantial portion of low-income society, and in Greece that by definition means society period, is unable to even afford their electricity, the Greek state's solution is perfectly anticipated for a country which is insolvent due to too much debt but can't declare bankruptcy because it is ruled by a few not so good bankers: convert one's basic social amenity into a liability, and pay it off over time. i.e., a debt.

In an effort to make it easier for households to repay what they owe and to boost the cash inflow into its coffers, PPC introduced a flexible and extensive payment plan scheme last year that over 700,000 consumers have joined. The scheme has proven so popular that the utility has given its customers the option of securing a payment plan via telephone in order to reduce long queues at its offices, as staff had been unable to handle the volume of applications.


PPC customers can now complete the process over the phone, by calling 11770 and applying to pay 12 monthly installments along with a down payment of between 20 and 50 percent. The category of socially sensitive consumers (the unemployed, those with low incomes etc) can pay their dues in up to 40 installments. Consumers only have to go to PPC offices to pay their installments.

In other words, for the low low price of €49.99, payable in 40 installments, you too can have electricity!

Which perhaps explains why the vast majority of households who had their electricity cut off opted not to fall even more in debt, but to take the short cut.

An estimated 7,500 households who had their supply cut off have now been reconnected thanks to a government decision to secure power for the country’s poorest households. There are, however, another 35,000 households, according to official figures, that have illegally reconnected their electricity supply, which is very dangerous.

Since Greece is now nothing more than a placeholder figurehead designed to preserve the stability of Deutsche Bank, the German export miracle, and the myth that all insolvent peripheral European banks are viable, who can blame them.


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Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:06 | Link to Comment Spungo
Spungo's picture

They need some Obamatricity.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:27 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Anything over a 15% payment rate is gravy to the Too-Big-To-Fail banks that now own Greek Utilities, Toll Roads, Bridges, etc., which they purchased for 5 cents on the Euro, after Greece went tits up and had to sell such facilities off - the same utilities that were built with Greek taxpayer monies.

The government/taxpayer-propped up Banks & their puppets known as a"politicians" call that their "business model" in the New Normal.

Others call it "supreme irony."

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:27 | Link to Comment Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

with taxpayer monies along with all of the loans they couldn't afford.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:01 | Link to Comment HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

Damn, I've been paying my utilities for the last 25 years. What a rube I am. 

Yes, I know I should be off the grid. Damn solar cells are still way too expensive, and the locals won't let me put up a windmill. Geothermal is the way for me, perhaps.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:09 | Link to Comment Looney
Looney's picture

Yeah, but their TAXES are also combined with the electricity charges and billed together. What kinda Greek pays his taxes, even if his electricity is cut off?  ;-)


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:02 | Link to Comment walküre
walküre's picture

Geothermal is not worth the investment

Just use less power with energy saving LED lights for example. Wash dishes by hand, wash clothes less regularly, heat with a gas fireplace (depends on where you are) and never ever run AC. Instead check with a good roofer about venting your roof to get create flow and reduce inhouse temps by several degrees naturally. Also building in the desert with 2x4, insulation, drywall and OSB or ply is crap. The best heat insulation is from stone buildings but that takes more time and houses can't mushroom out of the ground in days.

If I lived in the desert, I'd probably build underground. There are some really cool designs.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:50 | Link to Comment Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Working through the calcs of what it would take to live my current lifestyle off-grid was a sobering experience.  It really put into perspective how subsidized our electricity rates are.  

Funny thing was, most of the expense/usage came from just a few items:  Heating/Drying, Cooking, and Refrigeration.  Working the numbers, I realized that implementing efficient systems (eg LEDs for lighting) and reducing usage to a lower baseline had a multiplying effect on my system's affordability.

My future solar/wind combo system will be designed to run all of my refrigeration and lighting needs off-grid, but heating and cooking will be have to be supplied by other renewable, on-site or local sources (for us, wood makes the most sense). 

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:11 | Link to Comment Leonardo Fibonacci2
Leonardo Fibonacci2's picture


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:17 | Link to Comment Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The utilities or their johns-in-the-dark?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 16:32 | Link to Comment frenzic
Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:12 | Link to Comment kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Now we know why the US criminals are closing so many power plants.

"Funny how government always leads to 'concentrations.' Prisons, armies, work camps, reservations, etc."

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:33 | Link to Comment Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Main concentrations....


But they'll let you get soma. ..weed. if you pay them, with money they already taxed..then you can fake, chemically, a escape. For a while.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:14 | Link to Comment Spungo
Spungo's picture

There's always money to be made during a crisis. The guys who were willing to gamble on Greece and buy its assets are making bank right now.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:25 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

If I understand gambling/trading, you don't actually make shit until you sell (or walk away from the table with your chips).

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:02 | Link to Comment Major Major Major
Major Major Major's picture

Look at it like this.  There is 4 mil euros of new debt daily (NDD) to securitize into tranches in such a way that it is AAA rated so you are able to sell it to like iceland or something.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:26 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, yes, there's sucker born every minute. 

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:14 | Link to Comment Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture
"Greek Unpaid Electricity Bills Grow By €4 Million Per Day: Over 700,000 Pay In Installments"

now replace "Greek" with American and you r there.....

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:16 | Link to Comment Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Short Greek utilities, long solar-cookers and solar cells.

p.s. In USSA they just turn off your gas, phone, electricity, water, trash p/u if you don't pay.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:32 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

We're light years ahead of building work arounds. A lot of these huge infrastructure projects based on the World War II/Cold War model are looking "un-economic" to me and the market is making huge investments in much more "localized" architecture (backpack sized fuel cells, build out of a wind architecture, open source production) that can make these financing schemes unsustainable.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:17 | Link to Comment Agent P
Agent P's picture

"There are, however, another 35,000 households, according to official figures, that have illegally reconnected their electricity supply, which is very dangerous."


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:29 | Link to Comment oddjob
Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:25 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Got energy?   Print all the paper promises you want, without any energy, you can't actually do anything.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:33 | Link to Comment firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Shhh.  You'll upset phonnystar and his Bitcoin mining.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:41 | Link to Comment Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

He's virtually almost here.

Migrant workers mining fresh bitcoin in vast electric farms. The sweat of their brow feeds us all.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:49 | Link to Comment Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Doing the work Americans won't do!

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:27 | Link to Comment no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

Among them:

"Nea Dimokratia owes Public Power Corporation (PPC) half million euros for its headquarters at Leoforos Sygrou-Athens. The government coalition party supports that is facing difficulties to pay the bill, due to the financial crisis conditions. This excuse is not acceptable, of course, for the other consumers, especially those whose electric power has been cut off by the company."

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:33 | Link to Comment Bioscale
Bioscale's picture

You can keep your electricity, when you like your electricity. Fuck. Greece is soo fucked.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:48 | Link to Comment decisiveinvesting
decisiveinvesting's picture

Greece is milked by EU. But if you know how to control your emotions then you can be happy and make money everywhere.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:52 | Link to Comment Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

The pullback always starts on the periphery.  Then, it migrates to the core.  How long before Europe looks like North Korea at night?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:23 | Link to Comment SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Oh, I'm sure they just need some German Solar Panels and Danish Windmills; their European buddies will help them out.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:32 | Link to Comment shepherd
shepherd's picture

Alternatively Greece could produce those Solar Panels themselves. But that would obviously be too much to ask from greeks.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:52 | Link to Comment Ivanovich
Ivanovich's picture

What will it take for Greeks to rise up and say "enough"?  Or have they all been neutered? 

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

When they have clear view of THE ENEMY

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:46 | Link to Comment the tower
the tower's picture

The enemy is within

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:56 | Link to Comment youngman
youngman's picture

If they do not have electricity...they will have to do someting if you cant watch TV

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:58 | Link to Comment BandGap
BandGap's picture

Freezing your balls off prevents procreation.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 16:15 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

If you like your baby, you can keep your baby.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 13:56 | Link to Comment BandGap
BandGap's picture

700000 people represent 6.2% of the country. For scale, if this happened in the US over 19+ million people would be put of power. That's about the entire state of New York or Florida.

The Greeks better start doing something, anything.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:04 | Link to Comment HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

The Greeks are doing something. They are collapsing the system. It's the Germans who really need to be doing something. They should explain their theory of "Arbeit macht frei" to the Greeks...

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:24 | Link to Comment shepherd
shepherd's picture

Greeks made their own bed, by living way above their means. Nothing to do with Germany.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

You mean the Greek Speaking POLITICIANS, right??

For they are the ones that STOLEN ALL OF THE MONEY in conjunction with your beloved German Industrialists (Submarines that are Lopsided, German Engineering my ass)  and BANKSTERS.

Their mistake is to Believe Thieves and Conmen.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:37 | Link to Comment shepherd
shepherd's picture

Because greek bus drivers having to get extra pay for getting to work on time, has nothing to do with greeks!

Because the greek tax authorities not collecting taxes, has nothing to do with greeks!

Because having a constiution that exempts the richest greeks from even paying taxes has nothing to do with greeks!

Greece is such a heaven of financial responsibility and everyone knows that!




Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:30 | Link to Comment Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

Party Conyism is everything to do with it. Greece for your information is and was never Sovereign, for the simple fact that the CENTRAL BANK,  that is The Bank of Greece was NEVER  Greek Owned since its inception, 1928. Therefore MOST TAXES WENT ABROAD. I agree on the 3rd part  to do with the Kleptocrats (Rich)

So to conlude , if the Kleptocrats pay the politicians to make loopholes for them , HOW in God's name are they going to make a financial system that the majority of the Population will feel confident enough to pay into???????

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:44 | Link to Comment the tower
the tower's picture

Sounds like the Greek people need to get to get their shit together. Which, as any Greek will tell you, is the main source of Greece's problems.

PS Athens is the problem, the islands are doing fine

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:27 | Link to Comment Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

YOU ARE RIGHT. The Greeks do not pay the Electricity bills due to the fact that the Illegal (did'nt pass through the Legislature) Property Tax, known as the HATED  Turkish Harats. Not only that, but the Governing Corrupt Party of NO DEMOCRACY (see here:  according to NigelFarage ) IS NOT PAYING THEIR ELECTRICITY BILLS   amounting to more than 500.000.00 Euros ( )

Now, if you were in their position, WOULD YOU PAY?????

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:20 | Link to Comment adonisdemilo
adonisdemilo's picture

When Syriza tops the poll, assuming Tsipras doesn't have an "accident", the smart guys will get their just deserts when they find that all the state assets bought for cents on the Euro have been nationalised.

The fall out will hopefully hasten the end of the political experiment known as the Euro when Tsipras tells the EU and especially Deutche Bank that it's now their bonds that are worth cents on the Euro because "WE ARE NOT PAYING YOU ANY MORE MONEY"

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:21 | Link to Comment ...out of space
...out of space's picture

and irony is that greeks invented democracy

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:27 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

In ancient Greece, anyone proposing a new law had to do it on a platform with a noose around his neck.  If the law passed, the noose was removed, if the law failed to pass, the platform was removed.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:30 | Link to Comment bilejones
bilejones's picture

And got what they deserved.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:39 | Link to Comment pound the vix
pound the vix's picture

I can't wait to buy the CDO squared Greek late electric bill bonds when they get issued by Goldman Sachs.  I hear the forclosed ex-belly dancer traunch is rated AAA.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:40 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

Protect yourselves learn to speak German.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:00 | Link to Comment americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

"There are, however, another 35,000 households, according to official figures, that have illegally reconnected their electricity supply, which is very dangerous."

This is the standard line - not unlike "Don't go into the woods - there are bears and they will eat you."

If the connection is made by someone who knows what they are doing, illegal connections are considerably less dangerous than going in debt to the ECB.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:43 | Link to Comment Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

In a way, hooking up and not paying is a form of resistance.

Call it zero electron borrowing

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:04 | Link to Comment walküre
walküre's picture

When the new owners of the Greek power corps shut off the production due to lack of payments or sell the power to another country, the gig is up for the Greeks. Enjoy the default while it lasts.

Banks always win unless they're on fire and bankers are hanging in the streets. Simple solution really.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:22 | Link to Comment PontifexMaximus
PontifexMaximus's picture

Who the hell cares about unpaied Greek utility bills? A no-brainer of it's finest. Greece is still there, no riots, ppl go or do not go to work, daily business, welcome to the reality, move on.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:28 | Link to Comment the tower
the tower's picture

That's what happens if you let a country with an average wage of $600 a month buy $300 sunglasses on credit...

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:32 | Link to Comment pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

How is this any different than government sponsored mortgage refinancing, student loans, peanut-oil subsidies?    The primary purpose of governments the world over is to maintain the illusion of prosperity by keeping up revenue to their paymasters, and the sheeple placated.

And then, some day, government debt will go belly-up like a dead whale.  Debt owners rejoin the peasantry, and the cycle reboots.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 16:51 | Link to Comment no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

"The aim is simple: Apart from applying the desirable to the neoliberal doctrine conditions, a collapsed economy and state will bring huge barriers to the anti-memorandum powers which will be probably called to govern the country with the Leftist party SYRIZA in front, according to the polls and predictions. Through this way, neoliberal dictatorship will try to shape the conditions, so that, those who will be called to govern, will have very limited power to move in a different direction and therefore will be forced to compromise and complete the neoliberal experiment."

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 20:14 | Link to Comment Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

This article is flawed, and serves as an illustration of how this blog has become much less than it once was. The reason for high defaults on electric bills isn't that Greek's can't afford their electricity, though I'm sure some can't. It is because Greece's new property tax, part of the debt restructuring deal, is run through utility bills.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:29 | Link to Comment bilejones
bilejones's picture

There's no functional difference.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:33 | Link to Comment SilverFish
SilverFish's picture

If they had any brains in their heads, they'd run an extension cord to Albania and "borrow" theirs.


They do it in Brazil all the time.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 03:48 | Link to Comment giggler321
giggler321's picture

Best thing they can do is stop generating; then everyone knows something has to be done.  Hopefully that is enough to wake the powers that be into removing the tax levy on top of the bills - that's what is stopping them paying.

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