PPC counters EU charge

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) has reported separate accounts for its various units, it said in a stock market filing yesterday to counter the European Commission’s charge of murky bookkeeping. «The company has already published an annex of its annual accounts with the balance sheets of its various activities (mining, production, distribution, transport) for 2001-2002 and 2003 with the relevant public authorities,» it said. On Thursday, the EU’s executive body said it had decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court, because PPC did not publish separate accounts for electricity generation and the mining of lignite, breaking EU rules on an internal market in electricity. It said publishing separate accounts was a «key element» of the effective liberalization of Europe’s energy market. PPC said it had repeatedly told the Commission that its lignite operation constitutes a part of its production activity and that the EU directive does not require published separate accounts for its various activities. Nonetheless, PPC said it has kept separate accounts for its lignite mining and had submitted the data to the Greek regulatory authority in July 2003. More than 60 percent of the electricity produced in Greece is generated through locally extracted lignite, with PPC accounting for 98 percent of lignite production. (Reuters)