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Economy

Anti-Gouging Cap Plan for Appliance Replacement in Greece

ATHENS – A program to subsidize replacing older domestic appliances in Greece for new more energy-efficient models is so far behind that people who are approved might not get air conditioners until November.

But the New Democracy government has sent to Parliament an amendment to set a profit margin cap so that stores selling the goods don’t ramp up the prices to be paid twice, from customers and the state subsidy.

The scheme also covers refrigerators and freezers and pays up to half the cost depending on income and other factors and has seen more than 800,000 apply for air conditioners, but that requires a technician and is time consuming.

The cap restricts gross profits on the sale of each appliance to the equivalent profit per unit up until Dec. 31, 2021 to try to prevent price-gouging and  protect consumer purchasing power, said Kathimerini.

The cap will apply for the duration of the “Change my appliance” plan and violations carry escalating penalties, starting from a warning to stop overcharging to fines that range from 5,000 ($5021.60) to 1 million euros.

There’s also a name-and-shame component under which the violators would be publicly identified this year.

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