ECONOMY

Energy market gets cash boost

The energy sector breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday as the Deposits and Loans Fund disbursed 130 million euros and 100 million euros to the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) respectively.

The problem is that the loans do not seem to have secured the approval of the European Commission. On the contrary, Brussels had sent a letter to Athens last Friday questioning whether the loans or other guarantees that could be allocated to tackle the liquidity problem of the local energy market in the short term would be in line with EU regulations about state guarantees.

The letter called on Greece to provide a detailed account of the general cash flow problem in the sector, posing 14 questions that the new government will have to respond to immediately, as Brussels has made it clear to Athens that without answers it cannot offer its consent to the issue of the loans. It also reiterated its call to the government to go ahead with structural measures and asked for a specific timetable.