ATHENS Long-term, universal and substantial measures to deal with high electricity prices will be announced within May, government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou revealed on Sunday in an interview on SKAI television.
He stressed that people will no longer be seeing electricity bills that were four or five times higher than normal.
“We are ready for a very substantial intervention… Effectively, businesses will also see this real support and, in fact, for some businesses it will also be dated further back in terms of the price of electricity. Secondly, these measures will obviously also apply in May and, thirdly and most importantly, the prime minister will soon announce a very substantial intervention, a national plan independent of what happens in Europe, which will result in a drastic reduction in the price of power paid by citizens,” he said.
Oikonomou said that prices internationally remained high but Greek citizens and those consuming above a certain limit will see a very substantial reduction in the price of electricity in comparison with what they paid before. He emphasised that this measure will have a lengthy duration, during which prices for power will be closer to “normal” levels before the crisis erupted. The increases would not be entirely cancelled out, he clarified, but would not approach the levels that caused such great difficulty for the majority of businesses and households whose consumption exceeded certain levels.
He noted that this measure would be horizontal and not target only those on lower incomes and consumption levels below 300 kWh, as previously.
Regarding a letter sent by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the European Commission, Economou said that prime minister took this step because European interventions were needed for both the price and common purchase and storage of natural gas, in order to reduce dependence on Russian fossil gas, but EU action was delayed.
“We all want fast decisions but there is a delay there. Therefore, what is the prime minister saying? He is saying that, based on our planning and preparation over the previous period, based on the performance of the economy and the clear picture we now have, we will take a decisive measure that will lead people to pay less for electricity than they are paying today. The market for electricity is a market with many distortions and very complex,” the spokesperson added.
He explained that any windfall profits that have been made and are detected by the Regulatory Authority for Energy will be added to this support and returned to people by the government, which will also use all available fiscal space that can be found for a second national intervention, a national plan that will lead to a drastic reduction in the cost of power for all.
This meant that from June onward, when these measures will come into force, people will no longer see the hugely inflated electricity bills of the previous period, especially those with high electricity consumption.
Questioned about Turkish violations and the statements by Turkish officials, Economou expressed the opinion that they reflect Turkish irritation over the prime minister’s upcoming trip to the United States, noting that this was highly upgraded and featured not only his meeting with U.S President Joe Biden but an address to a joint session of the U.S. Senate and Congress, something that has only happened 70 times since World War II.