Another example of how neoliberal political power behaves
Nea Dimokratia owes Public Power Corporation (PPC) half million euros for its headquarters at Leoforos Sygrou-Athens. The government coalition party supports that is facing difficulties to pay the bill, due to the financial crisis conditions. This excuse is not acceptable, of course, for the other consumers, especially those whose electric power has been cut off by the company.
Electric power has been cut off in nursing homes, social care foundations, very poor families. However, the government coalition party applies policies to impose penalties for those who can't pay the bill while has self-excluded from such penalties. Nea Dimokratia spends millions in public relations, high executives and propaganda, but not for the public sector which when will collapse, will be privatized as being bad.
Furthermore, the two government coalition parties received millions in loans and put their future funding from the Greek Parliament as guarantee for these loans. Will there be any future funding for PASOK and its leader Evangelos Venizelos, as the party may not survive? Who will pay for debts to the banks? The Greek citizens of course. Let's not forget that PASOK and Nea Dimokratia took loans from bankers without guarantees, obviously to let the bankers and economic elite to establish a cleptocracy in exchange.
Details from the “deal” with PPC
The offices of a technical company were previously in the building of Nea Dimokratia headquarters. The company owed to PPC 275,772 euros for electricity bills since January 2012. In September 2012, Nea Dimokratia requests from PPC, through a letter, this debt to be passed to the party's electricity bill.
Through the same letter, the party was requesting to regulate this debt by paying it in 24, free from interest, monthly doses, thus nearly 11,500 euros per month. This second request was also accepted by PPC under the term that "future bills from now on should be paid on time". Also PPC made clear to Nea Dimokratia that "in case that you don't retain the deal, to secure PPC interests, the company will be in the unpleasant position to apply without any further warning, what is predicted by the supply code to customers...", meaning that the electric power should be cut off immediately.
From November to December of 2012, PPC's sector responsible for cutting off electric power from customers, received totally three orders from the central administration of the company, to cut off electric power from Nea Dimokratia headquarters because it was proved that the party was not paying its bills! However, for one more time the order was not executed! General manager of Nea Dimokratia is sending another letter to PPC requesting a 3-month extension so that the party pay the amount that owes to PPC! The excuse is always the same: economic difficulties due to the financial situation and delay of the public funding of political parties.
Through this illegal process, which is against PPC's rules, the total amount which Nea Dimokratia owes to the company for electrical consumption until December 2012 is 144,172 euros according to PPC. This is separate from the initial debt of more than 200,000 euros. While PPC behaves with cruelty against other consumers who are unable to pay the bills and the extra taxes, cutting off electric power from families with many members, disabled, or even from the asylum for incurable diseases in Kypseli-Athens which owes an extra tax of 600 euros, the company tolerates continuously the behaviour of Nea Dimokratia, the right-wing neoliberal party which voted for all these policies and extra taxes! Nea Dimokratia finally pays the amount of 144,172 euros for the first and only time, on February 27, 2013.
A new “deal” with PPC
However, Nea Dimokratia insists on the same process and sends a new letter to PPC on April 17 of 2013, requesting a new time extension to pay its debt to PPC reaching 119,521 euros only for recent bills. The excuse is always the same as before. A month later Nea Dimokratia requests a new deal for its whole debt to PPC reaching 352,622 euros! The party suggested paying 10,000 euros for a start and the rest of nearly 342,000 euros in 40 free from interest monthly doses!
On June 3rd, Nea Dimokratia pays 10,000 euros, but three months later, on September 11, PPC gives another order to cut off electric power because the party didn't pay any of the 40 monthly doses! This was the fourth order since November 2012, which again, wasn't executed. Until mid-October, Nea Dimokratia pays just 30,000 in two doses. On october 30, PPC sends another warning asking 199,540 euros for electrical consumption of the Sygrou building from June to August. The remaining previous debt is 320,899 euros.
Once again PPC's sector for major customers warns Nea Dimokratia that should pay the whole debt of 520,439.81 euros by November 6th. Once again, Nea Dimokratia ignores warning, a new order was given to cut off the electric power from Sygrou's building and once again this order never executed!
The situation as it is today
Today Nea Dimokratia owes to PPC 255,531 euros for current electricity bills, while the rest amount from the illegal regulation of 40 doses is 310,985 euros. Therefore total debt is 566,516 euros. This includes four unpaid doses for Special Emergency Estate Tariff which Nea Dimokratia refuses to pay. According to a recent law, this extra tax must be paid by the user of the building. While average consumer, in any case, will be forced to pay an amount through the IRS, Nea Dimokratia owes 64,695 euros for this tax. Neither PPC nor Nea Dimokratia agreed to answer questions about the whole matter.
Meanwhile, both PASOK and Nea Dimokratia, the neoliberal government coalition parties, which systematically delay their payments to Social Insurance Institute (SII) for their workers, are treated with leniency, while other businesses which in the midst of a financial crisis face huge difficulties to pay their obligations, are facing strict penalties for any payment delays to SII.
The laws are only for the others not for them!
Key information from articles by Kostas Vaxevanis, Marios Aravantinos and Nikos Andriopoulos from Kostas Vaxevanis' paper edition magazine HotDoc, Issue 40, Nov. 2013.
(translated by SCH)
(translated by SCH)