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Politics

Greece Adds Subsidies for Shocking Household, Business Energy Bills

ATHENS – Already paying 9 billion euros ($9.54 billion) to subsidize household and business electricity bills, Greece’s New Democracy government will put in another 840 million euros ($890.6 million) aid.

Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas made the announcement as winter has begun and the government is facing a tough re-election campaign in 2023 and has been pumping in money to avoid households going cold and dark.

The support – double the subsidies allocated in December – will be funded by a windfall tax on power producers and carbon emission rights, Skrekas said, although major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said it was a “token taxation.”

Tsipras said that although refineries were expected to have 3 billion euros ($3.18 billion) in excess profits by the end of 2022, their taxation by the government “will be based on the lowest denominator the European Union proposes, and will be registered as an expenditure, not tax,” said the Athens-Macedonia News Agency.

Greece had set aside money this year to help households and businesses pay their electricity, gas and heating fuel bills which have jumped following a spike in energy prices in the wake of the war in Ukraine, reported Reuters on the new subsidy too.

For customers using up to 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month – which accounts for about 90 percent of homes – the subsidy will reach 330 euros ($350) per megawatt hour, absorbing up to 87 percent of the increase, Skrekas said.

About 700,000 households that use gas will also get a monthly 20 euro ($21.21) subsidy per megawatt hour to deal with the soaring cost of that commodity.

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