CUTTING the power to Yeroskipou municipality’s town hall was not unjustified the Electric Authority (EAC) said yesterday, responding to charges made by the chairman of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities (UCM) Alexis Galanos.
Power was cut on Friday due to overdue payments and was restored at lunch time on Monday. The incident sparked a public dialogue between the utility and the municipalities.
Galanos said the municipality is a reliable but also a touristic municipality that offers a range of services.
“When the EAC faced serious problems with the crisis in Mari, they asked and they had the support of everyone to cope and their current behaviour is mildly unacceptable, especially if we take into consideration the super-human efforts of the municipalities in Cyprus to pay their debts,” Galanos said.
He said other municipalities have debts and the EAC is aware that efforts are being made to settle them.
The EAC said yesterday that Yeroskipou municipality did not respond to the many payment facilities made to them and failed to meet the pay-off plan of their old debts which was agreed by both sides.
It added that Galanos had a meeting with the EAC’s chairman and general manager at the beginning of the month and they agreed the EAC would facilitate the municipalities on the basis of a mutually accepted payment schedule.
“The municipalities assumed the obligation to be punctual to the mutually agreed payment schedule, something the Yeroskipou municipality did not do,” the EAC said.
“EAC is expecting the observance of this agreement from all the municipalities, as it faces equally all of its customers,” the announcement said.
The UCM also questioned EAC’s figures. “The sum of approximately €4.5m referred to is not up to date and creates false impressions,” it said in an announcement, adding that the municipalities today owe €1.5m.
It said the government owes €31m to the municipalities for the last four years for the reduction of the state grant against loss of professional taxes, based on a decision of parliament.
Yeroskipou mayor Michalis Pavlides said the EAC decision to cut power was an act of revenge because of a court case the municipality has against the utility concerning underground high-voltage cables.
According to the mayor, the municipality owed €62,000 of which it paid €30,000 last week, instead of the €50,000 they were supposed to. The municipality had asked for a few days to collect the remaining €20,000.