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Announcing the measure in a desperate attempt to plug a budget black hole, the finance ministry warned that failure to pay the tax would automatically result in power supplies being disconnected.
With thousands of electricity bills yet to be printed, militant unionists at the public power corporation, DEH, who recently took over the company's printing press, have threatened to step up action. "We are not going to do the government's dirty work," railed Nikos Fotopoulos who heads the union. "Electricity is a social commodity, not a means to collect taxes. We will do everything to ensure that unemployed people, poor people do not have their electricity cut."