Hello? Hello? Greek PM's phone cut off by mistake

Wed May 26, 2010 12:33pm EDT
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ATHENS (Reuters Life!) - 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 telephone company said on Wednesday.

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

Greece is suffering its worst financial crisis in decades and many are struggling to pay their bills as the government cuts wages and raises taxes to try to pay off its huge debt.

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

(Writing by Jon Hemming; Editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou gestures before being greeted by Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at the start of the European Union-Latin American summit in Madrid May 18, 2010. REUTERS/Sergio Perez</p>