The Environment and Energy Ministry decided to ban electricity exports as of Tuesday midnight until further notice in order to avert a general blackout.

The decision signed by Deputy Minister Yiannis Maniatis was based on the reduced availability of thermal power plants, the ban of exports by Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the declaration of a state of emergency for the natural gas network due to the lack of supply, and the extreme weather conditions in parts of the country that have raised demand.

The natural gas network in particular has been tested to its limits since January 18, with demand breaking one record after another.

Consequently, observers note, the ban of electricity exports should have come earlier.