By Evie Andreou
THE Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) has asked municipalities with unpaid bills to settle their latest account and pay the rest in equal instalments with an 8.0 per cent surcharge.
EAC spokesman Costas Gavrielides told the Cyprus Mail that the EAC had not received any complaints from municipalities regarding the arrangement and that the 8.0 per cent was the real cost incurred by the authority from payment delays.
“We are talking about large sums of hundreds of thousands, these are not the average household bills,” Gavrielides said. He added that the proposal was in fact helping the municipalities finally settle their debt to the EAC.
He also added that the Auditor-general had several times told the EAC that it was their duty to collect dues owed to them, because it was in the public interest
The Union of Cyprus Municipalities could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Municipalities owe the EAC approximately €2.5m in unsettled accounts, some of them dating back more than a year. Gavrielides said that there was even a possibility of cutting power to municipalities whose debts were not settled.
Municipalities have been facing serious financial problems for years. Former Auditor-general Chrystalla Georghadji had even warned in her annual reports of financial collapse for local authorities.
Georghadji repeatedly suggested that municipalities prepare an austerity programme with the aim of reducing excesses and stabilising budgets. The report also urges the EAC to be stricter when it comes to dues owed by customers with high consumption, such as municipalities.