ATHENS – Bolstered by a rising economy even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece's New Democracy government is planning subsidies to offset sharp hikes in energy costs.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis first made the announcement during his keynote address at the Thessaloniki International Fair where he said the economy is growing faster than expected.
“There is an international energy crisis,” Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas told reporters, said the Reuters news agency. “Our government has decided to support those who have seen their bills growing.”
The government scheme will put up 150 million euros ($177.4 million) and include a 9-euro ($10.64) assistance for the first 300 kilowatt hours consumed by households each month, he said, about 70 percent of them.
An annual payment by the government to low-income earners to help them buy heating oil for the winter will also be increased by 20 percent, while the state's Public Power Corp. (PPC) – which is 49 percent owned by private interests – will also provide bigger discounts now.