PPC discount may be seen as state subsidy


A Public Power Corporation (PPC) extraordinary general meeting on Monday approved discounts for companies of up to 15 percent based on total annual consumption.

The companies standing to benefit from the discount, however, have expressed concerns that the discounts may be deemed state subsidies. A few days ago, via the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), they requested one-on-one negotiations, “in good faith,” for an agreement on competitive power rates that would reflect PPC’s variable production costs.

The power giant’s management presented the meeting with a proposal by the governing board for seven sets of rates according to sector that could form the basis for negotiations with each corporation.

What has raised concerns is that the bailout deal with the country’s international creditors forced PPC to abolish previous discounts approved at general meetings, meaning that if a similar policy is pursued again now, the utility may face a fresh intervention from the European Union’s competition authorities on the grounds that these discounts constitute a state subsidy.

The industry appeared particularly concerned about the developments on Monday and will decide what position to take on the issue in the coming days.