ATHENS – Greece has “a dangerous government” and one “that is coordinating the looting of households by energy companies,” main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance spokesperson Nasos Iliopoulos asserted on Monday, in statements to the television channel Open.
He described the country as “a negative champion for wholesale electricity prices” in April, adding that “99 pct of the price hikes were passed on to the citizens”. Austria came a distant second with 46 pct, Iliopoulos pointed out, adding that such a difference truly merited the term “looting”.
Responding to statements made by the government spokesperson Yiannis Economou on Sunday about putting a stop to electricity bills that were four or five times higher than normal, he noted that these effectively admitted both the extent of the problem and the fact that the government could have taken measures previously but failed to do so.
“Why did we have to wait seven months, with bills having shot up and the great majority of citizens unable to make it through the month,” he asked. “After all this time, they are still investigating whether there were excessive profits. It is clear that the government is playing hide-and-seek with the Regulatory Authority for Energy,” Iliopoulos added.
A comparison between production costs and the wholesale prices showed that energy firms made profits exceeding 1.5 billion euros in the last seven to eight months, he said.
Iliopoulos said the adjustment clause charged by energy companies was essentially “the Mitsotakis clause” since the decision to rapidly phase out lignite led to an increase in the country’s dependence on natural gas while the privatisation of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) meant that the power provider acted solely to protect the health of its stock.
“Conversely, in the period from 2015-2019, bills did not increase by even one euro,” he said, whereas now citizens had to watch on as the PPC “golden boys” awarded themselves salaries of 360,000 euros a year, gave themselves bonuses of 16 million in stocks, and “built palaces when citizens cannot make it through the month.”