Gov’t urges prudence in use of electricity

The government yesterday appealed to citizens to be mindful not to waste electricity, to help ensure the smooth operation of the country’s grid. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, who made the appeal, asked consumers to moderate the use of electrical appliances, particularly during the peak times of between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., but assured that the Public Power Corporation (PPC) has adopted all necessary measures for adequate power supply. He said PPC devotes about a quarter of its revenues, about 800 million euros a year, to investment and modernization. It has also put into production in record time two new 800-megawatt power stations, one in Lavrion, south of Athens, and one in Thessaloniki. Responding to questions, Sioufas said that despite international fuel prices having risen about 140 percent since 2004, in Greece the rise, particularly of lead-free gasoline, has been only around 40 percent. «We are 20-22 percent cheaper than the European average. The latest (upward) adjustment, which was mandated by the European Union, has meant an addition of about 2 cents per liter to fuel prices. «We waited about 30 months before introducing this increase, which is rationally spaced out over time until 2009 so that we may conform to European requirements,» the minister said. Regarding the prospect of introducing the use of diesel in private vehicles, he said the issue is being studied by Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias.