|Workers cut power to ministry; Samaras calls for exemptions|
The health ministry was left without power this morning after power workers cut the electricity supply in a symbolic protest against the government’s property tax.
The property tax is being levied through electricity bills. Workers complain that they are not a tax-collecting agency.
Unionists have repeatedly refused to cut the power of low income earners who cannot pay.
Trade unionists from Genop-DEI, which represents employees in the state-run Public Power Corporation (DEI), said that it was "unacceptable " that while the state owes the PPC 141m euros, it was at the same time "giving orders for the electricity supply to be cut to the poor, the unemployed and the small-pension earners".
In a statement, Genop-DEI said claimed the health ministry owes 3.8m in upaid electricity bills alone.
Recent court rulings have said that consumers cannot pay the electricity part of the bill separately. Therefore, if they fail to pay the property tax, the PPC must proceed to cut the power. The company has also ended a practice that allowed people to pay their bills in instalments.
"We will not allow it. We will stop, in any way we can, the cutting of power in the houses of the poor, the unemployed, the pensioner, the low-wage earner," GEnop-DEI president Nikos Fotopoulos told Net television.
"Electricity cannot be used as a lever for blackmail."
Genop said that PPC is owed a total of 856m in unpaid bills, a figure it expects to surge as a result of the imposition of the property tax.
Well done those workers who cut the ministry's electricity off. How come the government has been allowed to accrue such debts? The people who work in those offices should be out on their heals - and it comes from the top! I am already thinking about how to survive if I cannot pay my electricity bill. At least we have wood for the fire, so cooking is not a problem, or hot water. My computer, I would certainly miss, but hey, Valentino Cello does not need electricity. We shall have music, and maybe visit the cafeneo more - that is unless they are cut off too. Hm, it could be a challenge of a winter!
I have done my exercises today, and had my daily porridge, so now I am going to relax infront of the TV while I can.
Have a good evening,
Love Jane x