ATHENS – After putting out some 8.2 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in aid for households to pay electricity bills that doubled in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, falling prices have led Greece to cut back on the aid.
Subsidies in February will be 95 million euros ($102.91 million) after reaching 840 million euros ($909.93 million) the month before, said Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas, reported Reuters.
With a warm winter lessening the need for energy and full supplies in the European Union, which exempted Russian supplies from sanctions over the invasion, the prices have fallen.
“We are in a period of drastic de-escalation of global natural gas prices,” Skrekas said in a televised address announcing the measures. “The crisis during this period has eased, but it is not over,” he added.
Skrekas attributed the fall in gas prices to a cap agreed by EU countries in December to avoid the record-high prices Europe faced last year after Russia slashed gas deliveries, worsening the problem.
The policy was agreed following a drawn-out debate between more than 15 pro-cap countries, including Greece, and will come into effect on Feb. 15 if benchmark Title Transfer Facility (TTF) gas hub prices spike, the news agency noted.
For consumers using up to 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month – about 90 percent of Greek households – the subsidy will reach 40 euros ($43.33) per megawatt hour, down from 330 euros ($357.47) in February, Skrekas said.