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Unemployed Greeks Reconnect as Underground Electricians Defy Law

Kostas Ioannidis, an unemployed metalworker with an ailing mother and disabled wife, can’t afford electricity. So he steals it instead.

Like thousands of other Greeks, Ioannidis had his power disconnected because he couldn’t pay his bills. He owes 2,700 euros ($3,668) and can’t make even the 150 euro monthly payments he negotiated with the power company. When his electricity was cut off in October -- for the second time in two years -- he illegally reconnected it, jerry rigging the cables.