The European Commission on Wednesday ordered Greece to recover 17.4 million euro plus interest from the company Aluminium of Greece, on the grounds that it was the recipient of improperly given state aid.
The Commission said that the discount electricity rates charged by Greece's state-run power company Public Power Corporation (PPC) during 2007-2008 gave the company an unfair advantage that violated EU rules on state aid and distorted competition. The decision followed an in-depth investigation launched in January 2010.
The amount to be recovered was calculated by the Commission as the difference between the preferential rates offered to Aluminium of Greece and the normal prices for large-scale industrial customers.
The preferential rates offered to the company date as far back as the 1960s and were due to end in March 2006. Instead, they were extended from January 2007 until March 2008, at which time PPC finally won an appeal to end these low rates.