ekathimerini.com | Construction activity is crumbling
In November 2012, total activity dropped 66.6 percent year-on-year in terms of building permits, 63.3 percent in terms of surface area and 65.4 percent in terms of volume."Four out of 10 Greeks told the same survey that they no longer have any disposable money left after covering their basic needs, which is the highest rate ever recorded in Greece and the biggest in the October-December period in Europe. A year earlier (in Q4 2011) that rate had stood at 34 percent and in Q4 of 2010 it had been at 25 percent."With unemployment soaring to unprecedented levels, it comes as no surprise that finding and/or keeping a job constitutes the greatest concern among Greeks, which, at a rate of 44 percent, is among the highest in the world. The state of the economy ranks second, at 38 percent, debts are third at 26 percent and the increasing level of utility bills are fourth, on 21 percent.
Shrinking disposable incomes combined with insecurity have led to a change in Greeks' shopping habits, with 77 percent stating they have curtailed spending on entertainment outside the home, 67 percent saying they choose cheaper commodities (mostly own-label supermarket products) and more than half (54 percent) say they have cut down on fuel and electricity.
ekathimerini.com | PPC losing millions due to power theft
he phenomenon of electricity theft has grown out of control due to the economic crisis and the inability of many to pay their bills.
While before the crisis power theft was only seen in certain downgraded areas such as Roma settlements, it has now spread across the country and into expensive areas too, including the northern suburbs of Athens.
Officials at the Hellenic Electrical Energy Distribution Network Operator (DEDDIE) estimate that the turnover from electricity theft at businesses alone has quadrupled within just one year, climbing from 10 million euros in 2011 to 40 million in 2012.
The methods employed to steal power vary although authorities believe that in many cases electricians are paid to carry out the illicit connection. Public Power Corporation’s data on its lost income have been compiled from checks on corporate supplies, as there are no inspectors available to conduct random checks on household meters.
“Unfortunately [the illegal] connections are conducted in such a way that cannot be noticed by inspectors who check the meters once every four months,” a DEDDIE official told Kathimerini. “We have information about con artists who have made electricity theft their profession, but this information is not sufficient for us to catch them.”