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Economy

Greek FinMin Leaves Door Open for Natural Gas Subsidy

September 29, 2021

ΑΤΗΕΝS — Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Wednesday said the government could examine a plan to offer a natural gas subsidy due to the large increases in energy cost and particularly in natural gas prices. In comments made to SKAI radio, the finance minister said that he has nothing to add to the Prime Minister's announcements made in Thessaloniki early in the month at the moment, but added that the "issue is not closed" and referred to the dynamism of the economy on any additional interventions if necessary.

However, he said there was no plan to reduce taxes on fuel, saying that a draft budget to be tabled in Parliament next Monday did not include any such intervention. Staikouras noted that according to estimates made by the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve, the phenomenon of price increases seemed to be temporary due to the rapid recovery and very strong demand. He added that this phenomenon will be felt soon by consumers, noting that the government's permanent support measures have created a "wall of immunity" but there will be more temporary interventions by the state in the coming months.

Commenting on the cost of an agreement signed with France and defence spending, Staikouras said defence spending for the period 2025-2028 has been budgeted and will be rationally distributed, adding that this an additional intervention that has not been assessed. Regarding a share capital increase plan by Public Power Corporation, Staikouras said that the state will keep 34 pct of PPC's equity capital, maintaining minority rights and the management of the utility.

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