The president of the trade union of employees in the Greek Public Power Corporation DEI Nikos Fotopoulos made new threats some days after threatening to pull the plug and leave Greece without electricity, if the company is privatised.
At today's meeting of shareholders, he expressed his concern about the future of the company. After pointing out that, he was not speaking as DEI’s owner, he said, "We will oppose the government in its attempt to sell even a piece of DEI." Then, he expressed the grounds for his decision commenting that privatisation will double or triple the price of a kilowatt-hour of power.
Nikos Fotopoulos opposed any privatisation scenario for the company, no matter whether it would be held through the sale of shares, of plants for energy production or through assigning the management to a private company. According to him, DEI funded private producers of electricity today. The trade unionist said this should stop and suggested that the money equivalent to 27 million euro per year and which is paid to employees for overtime should be paid to new employees.
For his part, the general secretary of the Ministry of Energy Kostas Matiudakis said, "We must act differently," but added that the Greek government "has no intention of reinventing the wheel."
DEI’s president George Zervos said that if there is no established mechanism to connect the market prices of electricity to retail prices, the market could not be liberalised and DEI would remain a monopoly operating at a loss.
According to the president of the company, after private suppliers have left the market, DEI is selling electricity to 99% of consumers, holding 75% of production at the same time. George Zervos said that this year, the company would finance private producers with 250-270 million euro through the mechanism for the variable cost refunding. Last year, the financing reached 130 million euro.
DEI’s head pointed out the difficulties the company is experiencing in being financed by banks. Indicative is the fact that the new investments in the photovoltaic parks in Megalopoli and Ptolemais as well as in the new lignite plant in the city will be realized only if funds have been provided. The DEI is expecting to receive over 400 million euro, which the European Investment Bank will gradually pay for already completed projects.
He said that a new natural gas plant will start operating in Aliveri in Evia in the autumn and the new power plant in Megalopoli, which will also produce electricity from natural gas, will start operating in the summer of 2013.