The government will seek to restore the electricity supply to poor households that have had their power cut after failing to pay their bills and will ensure that the Public Power Corporation (PPC) does not cut the electricity of others struggling to pay their bills, it emerged on Thursday.
After talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis said he he would ask municipal authorities to provide PPC with lists of poor families, noting that the authorities would then decide on a case-by-case basis which households are genuinely unable to pay their electricity bills and ensure they have power.
“We will not allow any of our fellow citizens to die of cold,” Maniatis said.
The government’s initiative came after a fire broke out in an apartment in the Kordelio suburb of Thessaloniki as the tenants, whose power supply was cut off in May 2012, had left candles unattended.
PPC issued a statement saying that the power board had not made the decision to cut the electricity but had been asked to do so by the owner of the apartment who had complained that the tenants were not paying their bills.
The fire, which led to two family members being hospitalized with respiratory problems, came less than a week after a 13-year-old Serbian girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning after her mother used a brazier to heat their apartment, in another part of Thessaloniki, which had also had its electricity supply switched off.