Greece extended on Friday the financial relief offered to businesses and households due to the rising energy costs.
PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that the government will allocate in January alone, another 400 million euros ($452 million), covering a significant part of the increases in electricity bills.
“For another month the government will support households, farmers, and businesses in the face of the global energy turmoil,” he said.
“This is a generous and realistic aid plan that helps the present, but does not endanger the future,” he underlined.
“The emphasis is, obviously, on the relief of our households. But we will also help businesses stay on track for growth while maintaining jobs.”
European gas prices have hit record highs amid surging demand for fuel as economies recover from the impact of the pandemic.
In September, Greece offered a power bill subsidy of 9 euros ($10.19) a month for the first 300 hours consumed in the month. That was increased to 18 euros for October, to 39 euros for November and to 50 euros for December.
The total cost of last year’s relief was estimated at 1.35 billion euros. It will be funded by revenues from the country’s carbon emissions trading mechanism.
Mitsotakis promised that the energy financial relief program will be followed with a plan on overall energy savings.
“There will be subsidies for the replacement of old electrical appliances, which will then be recycled. Our goal is for all Greek homes to operate with modern and more economical electrical equipment,” he stressed.
Greece called for EU response to energy crisis
Greece has pushed for an EU-wide response to the energy crisis in Europe, but member states have not agreed to a common strategy.
EU leaders recently shunned sweeping action by adopting a moderate list of measures such as direct income support for vulnerable households, state aid for struggling companies and reductions in taxes and special levies.
All these measures must be targeted, tailored and temporary, an opinion shared by Germany and other Northern member states, who are reluctant of forceful intervention.