Olga Argyrou prepares to serve lunch to her children at the kitchen of her house at the suburb of Keratsini in Athens, Greece, March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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Kostas Argyros' unpaid electricity bills are piling up, among a mountain of debt owed to Greece's biggest power utility. His family owes 850 euros ($905) to the Public Power Corporation, a tiny fraction of the state-controlled firm's 2.6 billion euros in unpaid bills.Power theft is costing PPC around 500 million to 600 million euros a year in lost income, an industry official said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge the numbers.PPC declined to comment on the figure. PPC, which has a 90 percent share of the retail market and 60 percent of the wholesale market, is supposed to reduce this dominance to less than 50 percent by 2020 under Greece's third, 86 billion euro bailout deal.PPC has tried to recoup unpaid bills with phased repayment schemes.The schemes drove the figure down to 453 million euros in the nine months to September last year from 690 million a year earlier.Analysts expect PPC to swing back to a profit of between 63-109 million euros in 2016, with provisions of below 600 million euros.
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