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Economy

Half of Greek Households Can’t Cope With Soaring Energy Bills

ATHENS – Electric bills that have soared rapidly in Greece have left many families and households unable to pay, even with state subsidies paying up to 80 percent of the cost, with energy costs across the board soaring.

A report by the site Trend, citing the Chinese news agency Xinhua in a survey carried out in May for Kapa Research for the Athens think tank the Nicos Poulantzas Institute, showed how dire the situation is.

It found that 62 percent of households can’t heat their homes in the winter – some buildings with multiple owners or renters won’t even buy heating oil – and 51 percent can’t afford air conditioning in the summer.

Some 36 percent of respondents said they have cut back on expenses on food and clothing to be able to pay energy bills, while three out of ten households said they have fallen behind on utility bills, many resorting to installment payments.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine roiled world markets and set off higher energy prices with the the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) reporting natural gas prices jumped 172.7 compared to 2021.

For electricity bills, the average was 80.2 percent and 65.1 percent for heating oil, leaving many households in the cold and dark and with indications it’s getting worse, inflation at its highes rate since 1993, rising 11.3 percent in May.

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