ECONOMY

PPC unions toughen strike stance

The grid operator (DESMHE) and the general directorate of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) were on full alert last night to avoid a general blackout in Greece, following the second day of strike by PPC employees. Yesterday 11 electricity-producing units of 2,775 megawatts in total stopped operating, creating a deficit of 3,675 MW for the distribution system, as there are also another three units of 900 MW in total that have been out of operation since last month for planned maintenance. Worse still, the extraordinary meeting yesterday evening between Development Minister Christos Folias and the PPC workers’ union (GENOP-PPC) ended without any sign of agreement, making the unionists say they would toughen their stance and take two more plants out of operation after midnight last night. The union is also resorting to court to defend the independent social security fund OAP-PPC. «We shall not step back even if we are submerged in darkness,» said a defiant Nikos Photopoulos, the head of GENOP-PPC. «There was no convergence of our views,» commented Folias after the meeting, adding that «the government and the employment minister have made our positions clear on the social security issue. I hope and wish that logic will prevail so that we are not led to a situation that will be at the expense of all Greek society.» There were no significant supply problems noted up until late last night in Greece. The deficit was covered by imports of 1,000 MW (of which 500 MW was from Italy), another 1,350 MW was offered by hydroelectric plants, mainly during peak hours, while wind-power parks offered a crucial 370 MW.