Power supply returning to normal on Santorini

The power supply to Santorini was returning to normal over the weekend, after several days of serious shortages following a blackout caused by a power station fire last Tuesday, with the country’s electricity distribution network operator (DEDDIE) saying that a rotating schedule for supplying power to different parts of the island was no longer necessary.

The improvement came on Saturday after two mobile generators were shipped to the southern Aegean island as technicians made progress in repairing the damaged power station at Monolithos, some 9 kilometers southeast of the resort of Fira. Nevertheless, DEDDIE issued a statement asking islanders to avoid the unnecessary use of power until electricity distribution is fully back to normal.

Public Power Corporation (PPC) chief Arthouros Zervos had traveled to the island on Friday for talks with local authorities and had pledged that power supply to the southern Aegean island, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, would be back to normal by Saturday.

Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis and Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni also traveled to Santorini and met with Mayor Anastasios-Nikolaos Zorzos, who earlier in the week had threatened to sue PPC over the protracted energy shortages but appeared to have softened his stance over the weekend.

Zorzos, and other local authority officials, had sought to make the best of the blackout earlier in the week, sending musicians into the streets to entertain tourists and promoting the romantic aspect of dinner and drinks under the stars. But local businesses were badly hit by the power shortages, particularly those without their own emergency power generators.

Panos Livadas, the general secretary of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), also traveled to Santorini over the weekend and is reportedly planning a campaign to promote Santorini via social media in a bid to offset possible losses suffered because of the power problems. The upheaval followed indications that Santorini was on track to break a record of 1.9 million foreign visitors attracted in 2011.