Greek telephone firm cuts off PM's house

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Greek telecom engineers cut off the telephone line to the Prime Minister's house while attempting to disconnect a customer who was behind in payments.

The Athens phone number of the customer in arrears was the same as that of George Papandreou's home number save for one digit, the telecoms company OTE said.

Many Greeks are struggling to pay their bills as the government cuts wages and raises taxes to try to pay off the country's huge debt. Mr Papandreou's phone was cut off on the same day that a deadline fell for Greece to repay a 10-year bond worth €8.5bn (£7bn), using the first instalment of a €110bn rescue package from the EU and IMF.

OTE is 20 per cent owned by the state. OTE's chairman wrote a letter to Mr Papandreou to explain the mistake and engineers went to his house immediately after they were informed of the problem.