ECONOMY

Consumers file complaints regarding PPC power cuts

A growing number of people have been submitting complaints to the consumers’ Ombudsman about damage caused by the continuous power cuts. «Any union claims should not be made at the expense of the Greek consumer,» said the office of the Ombudsman in a statement issued yesterday. Owing to the ongoing strike by Public Power Corporation unions on the social security issue, since last Tuesday PPC has been scheduling power cuts ranging from one to four hours per day, depending on the region, in order to avoid a general blackout. All consumers suffering the consequences of power cuts are invited to contact the Ombudsman so that, free of cost, they can have their case settled out of court. Similarly, a major consumers’ association, EKPIZO, has called on the PPC union heads to «consider their responsibilities toward society and stop using consumers as hostages for their struggle about the social security rights of union members.» «We understand the right to strike, but employees in social commodity sectors must exercise this right with wisdom and responsibility,» EKPIZO said, asking consumers who have suffered any damage to file written complaints to PPC, and also communicate them to EKPIZO. The consumer association will gather all complaints and try to secure out-of-court compensation for consumers. Striking a more political note, another consumer association, KEPKA, said the PPC administration forgets the fact that electricity is a social commodity when it asks for rate hikes, and that it is trying to turn one social group against another. The PPC application for an injunction against the strike suffered from lack of witnesses yesterday as the pressure of unionists on Avraam Mizan, general director for production, resulted in his resignation, both from his post and as a prosecution witness. When PPC tried to find another witness among its other general directors, no one would step forward for fear of more intimidation from the unionists present. Therefore, the case was adjourned until today at 11 a.m.