By G. Kanoupakis
An unprecedented raid of the main offices in Athens of state-run Public Power Corp. (PPC) and its still affiliated transmission grid operator (ADMIE) was conducted by inspectors from EU Commission's Directorate-General for Competition this week, following charges that the utilities are abusing their dominant position in Greece's power sector.
The charges, in fact, cited specific dates when recent surges in electricity demand came during a cold snap around Greece.
No information was provided on who filed the charges with European authorities.
Glimmers of "schadenfreude", in fact, were in order after recent high-profile allegations by PPC president Manolis Panagiotakis, who claimed that private power producers were manipulating prices during the heightened demand period.
PPC employees were requested to hand over data - as well as hard drives - on how the state-run utility formulated its wholesale power generation prices during the specific period, as well as how this regime is affected by the lignite-fired and hydroelectric units PPC operates and the latter's participation or non-participation in the grid during specific time periods.
In a later response on Wednesday evening, PPC, which at one time operated as a powerful monopoly in Greece, defended its activities, saying it operates with complete transparency and in compliance with EU laws and regulations.
The utility confirmed the inspection that took place on Tuesday and that its administration was offering every assistance to inspectors.
According to PPC, the EU's competition body is scrutinizing the wholesale power generation sector from as far back as 2010.