ECONOMY

PPC launches crackdown on debtors with first asset seizure

ppc-launches-crackdown-on-debtors-with-first-asset-seizure

Troubled Public Power Corporation has carried out its first confiscation of assets over unpaid bills, seeking to recoup more than 23,000 euros in unpaid bills from the owner of a 1,000 square meter villa in the upscale northern Athens suburb of Kifissia, in a move aimed at cautioning other so-called strategic debtors.

The villa's owner not only failed to pay for the electricity used at the property over the course of several years, but was also found to have presented forged documents in order to secure a discount on utility rates designed to help impoverished households.

PPC uncovered the case in 2017 but has only just proceeded with measures to get back all or some of the money it's owed and to send a message to other strategic debtors to settle up or face asset confiscations.

The state-owned utility, which reported losses of more than half a billion euros in 2018, is looking to crack down on customers who consistently shirk their responsibilities in the hopes of recouping some of a total of around 2.5 billion euros it's owed.

The crackdown is part of a package of measures for restructuring the ailing company drafted by Greece's new Energy Minister Kostis Hadjidakis, who said that some 800 million euros of the debt to PPC is owed by just 60,000 customers.

The company, whose board has enlisted the help of a debt management firm, is looking to recoup between 300 and 400 million euros by the end of August.