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Politics

PM on Energy Crisis: “We Must Take Measures on a European Level”

ATHENS – The price of natural gas has to be uncoupled from the price of electricity and this requires a European response, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasised during a discussion on the energy crisis on Saturday with Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Mathias Cormann at the 7th Delphi Economic Forum.

Mitsotakis said he hoped that a decision on this will be taken in May and pointed out that, if there was no EU decision, then countries would be forced to act alone on a national level, “spending resources as states to control prices.” Unless action was taken, he warned, “we will allow room for the forces of populism,” while adding that “we not lose the support of our populations for economic reasons.”

The prime minister noted that 230 billion euros in unallocated loans were available from the recovery fund and these could be used, on an EU level, to deal with the energy crisis.

“We emerged from the pandemic and we hoped that strong growth would continue. Nobody expected a war in Europe. It is clear that there will be major complications for the global economy,” Mitsotakis said.

He also pointed to Greece’s early repayment of IMF loans, the approval of the first installment from the recovery and resilience fund and the expectation that the country will exit the enhanced surveillance mechanism in August.

“It is important to give markets the message that we are able to stand on our own two feet, that we can be relied on,” Mitsotakis said, adding that the next feasible target was raising the country’s credit rating to investment grade.

The prime minister also emphasised that the Greek economy is moving in the right direction, has an ambitious agenda, which it is implementing in conditions of fiscal credibility.

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