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Politics

Despite Jumping Energy Bills, Greece Won’t Require Use Cuts

ATHENS – After setting up operations to get people to use their air conditioners at higher temperatures during an energy crisis that’s seen electric bills double or more, Greece’s New Democracy government won’t make cuts in use mandatory.

That’s neither for business nor households, said spokesman Giannis Oikonomou who said that similar restrictions in other countries such as Germany are “not in the picture,” for Greece without saying why.

“There is nothing on the table right now, no thoughts for restriction or mandatory measures of some kind, nor does such a move seem necessary from where we’re standing,” Oikonomou told SKAI TV.

“Our task is to observe and keep note of the situation with accuracy, without panicking but also without dressing it up. There is no doubt that a difficult winter lies ahead,” he said, with worry that households will have to choose between trying to pay exorbitant bills or go without energy at times.

The government is already pumping in subsidies for household electric bills – an election looms in 2023 – after some households saw bills as high as 750 euros ($753.19) a month, more than the minimum salary or wages for many Greeks.

He said that aid will continue although it will cost the government some 2 billion euros ($2.01 billion) in September alone, big tourism revenues providing the money to keep doing it during the waning COVID-19 pandemic.

These subsidies, he said, will reduce the increases on electricity bills by 94 percent for 6 million households, by 100 percent for those with a social discount, by 84 percent for businesses and 90 percent for farmers, which he called “essential and appropriate.”

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