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Politics

If EU Balks at Electricity Price Subsidies, Mitsotakis Says Greece Won’t

HERAKLION – Seeing his pitch to the European Union for a uniform plan to help consumers unable to pay soaring electricity prices put on hold, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece will act on its own if there’s no answer.

Speaking at a meeting of his ruling New Democracy, he noted how the bloc – slowly – came together over how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, although it took so long the Coronavirus spread for months.

“We all bought the vaccines together at better prices. The same can be done with natural gas. There are also unallocated resources from the Recovery Fund. I pledge that if there is no European solution, our country will prepare an additional and larger support plan for electricity prices on its own,” he said, reported Kathimerini.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to what were already rising energy costs around the world, adding to the dilemma of governments trying to deal with the financial effects of the pandemic.

Greece has been subsidizing workers and businesses through lockdowns and now with a pittance subsidy for electricity and fuel costs, including gasoline, but consumers have seen electric bills nearly double in a year.

“When the price of electricity depends on the price of gas, which has doubled, then even half of the increase to be covered by the state will again be considered very expensive,” he also said.

He said his government, which promised to go after gasoline gougers, will also show zero tolerance to anyone trying to take advantage of the crisis to make a profit,” the report said, the government allocating another 4 billion euros ($4.32 billion) in aid.

“We voted for an additional budget adding 2 billion. We will have bigger discounts on electricity and gas bills, while low-income, uninsured, elderly and disabled people will receive 200 euros ($216.24) … to spend over Easter.”

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