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article imageGreek energy crisis could cause national power blackout in June

By Katerina Nikolas     May 30, 2012 in World
The head of the Greek Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) has warned the caretaker government that Greece could face a blackout by early June as it may be forced to shut down the gas supply to electricity producers.
Ekathimerini reported DEPA's Haris Sachinis has advised the caretaker government that the liquidity crisis is so dire that the issue of a probable blackout should be considered a “special national emergency.”
DEPA is owed around €300 million by electrical energy producers, leaving DEPA unable to pay its own Turkish, Italian and Russian suppliers. Meanwhile Greece's Public Power Corporation, DEI, is struggling to cope with hugely increased costs in its energy purchase bill. Athens News reported prices for natural gas and oil, which it relies on to produce electricity, have increased by 83 percent.
To compound the energy crisis Greece faces, the issue of oil imports is critical. Since the suspension of Iranian oil imports to Greece due to the EU embargo on Iranian oil, the debt-ridden nation is forced to purchase oil at premium prices, Ekathimerini reports.
Prior to the EU ban on Iranian oil Greece was largely dependant on the Persian state to supply crude oil on credit. Greece initially vetoed the ban on Iranian oil imports until it succumbed to pressure from its European partners, the majority of whom were not reliant on Iranian imports.
Now the bulk of oil imports are provided by Glencore and Vitol who charge a premium due to the risk. Ekathimerini reports that neither supplier would say if they would continue to supply oil to Greece in the event of a default and euro exit.
The prospect of a blackout is a bleak one and could have a further devastating impact on this season's tourist trade if the caretaker government is unable to resolve the issue.
More about DEPA, Greece crisis, greek blackout, special national emergency, Iranian oil
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