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Politics

Oikonomou: Greece and Its Proposals “Are Once Again a Part of the Solution”

September 29, 2022

ATHENS – From the first moment that the energy crisis erupted in Europe, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has underlined the need for a European solution to a European-wide problem,” government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou said during the press briefing on Thursday.

“As in the case of the pandemic, Greece is once again part of the solutions through its proposals, and the practices that it has introduced to deal with crises are becoming the rule and gradually being adopted by other countries in the rest of Europe,” Oikonomou said.

He said the prime minister’s initiatives and the positions he expressed in his meetings with other EU leaders had primarily focused on four things: imposing a cap on the wholesale price of natural gas, changing the model for setting electricity prices to decouple this from the price of natural gas, developing common supply and storage policies on a European level and the need to support European households and businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Mitsotakis has also noted that, contrary to its management of the pandemic, the EU has delayed in taking decisions and has no more time to waste, Economou added, while welcoming the call by 15 EU member-states to the European Commission to impose a cap on natural gas prices.

The spokesperson went on to mention a letter sent by Greek Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas to the European Commission, proposing the creation of a European fund of 80 billion euros to deal with the repercussions of high natural gas prices.

The spokesperson also referred to the issue of pending pension applications, pointing to a new record in the issue of new pensions in August, fully eliminating the backlog before 2020 and with 97 pct of pension applications for 2020 and 91 pct for 2021 already issued.

Oikonomou also noted strides in digital services targeting people with disabilities, such as certification, and a number of other reforms, as well as the reforms in education and to enhance security in universities.

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