Commission Decision C(2008) of 5 March 2008

European Commission Decision C (2008) of 5 March 2008 on the granting or maintenance by the Hellenic Republic of rights to the extraction of lignite in favor of the Public Power Corporation SA

Summary of the Decision

In this decision, the European Commission finds that the Greek State has been granted and maintained in force quasi-monopoly rights that give PPC privileged access to the lignite exploitation. Expansion of lignite-based electricity production.

In the Committee's view, the Hellenic Republic has secured the privileged access of PPC to the cheapest available fuel for the production of electricity. This allowed PPC to maintain its dominant position in the wholesale electricity supply market. According to the committee, this level did not abate much from the monopoly. The consequence was the foreclosure or obstruction of the entry of new competitors into the market.

In this way, the Hellenic Republic has enabled PPC to defend its quasi-monopoly position in the market. This is in contrast to the liberalization of the wholesale electricity supply market. As a result, it maintained and strengthened its dominant position on that market.

The European Commission, by the Decision of the European Commission C (2008) invited the Greek State to inform it within two months of the notification of this Decision of the measures it intends to take with a view to remedying the anti-competitive effects of the above mentioned situation.

The Commission, in its Decision C (2008), also noted the lack of competitors' entry into this market. It also noted the particularly low import rate, which was insufficient to exert substantial competitive pressure.

Remedies aim to remove the privileges that have been created. Specifically, they concern the special access rights granted to PPC.

In particular, they state that PPC will divest for the units of Melitis and the Megalopolis 3 and 4 units that are supplied with lignite. Includes the licensed Melite 2 plant. Disinvestment will also include the necessary workers and the corresponding lignite mines.

The Greek state has complied with the aforementioned framework by the adoption of Law 4533/2018 (Government Gazette A / 75 / 27.04.2018) from 27 April 2018.

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