Greece to Help People Pay Higher Energy Bills Through January
(Bloomberg) -- Greece is extending measures designed to help households and businesses pay their power and gas bills in January as the surge in energy prices shows no sign of let up.
“The government will support households, farmers and also businesses against the global turmoil in energy prices for another month,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday. While the emphasis is on relieving households, the government wants to help businesses maintain growth and jobs, as well as avoid increases in production costs that could feed into the prices of products, he said in a televised address.
Greece is one of several European Union members to provide subsidies to struggling consumers and companies, putting strain on national budgets across the bloc. The energy crunch is also becoming one of the EU’s biggest current challenges, fueling inflation just as governments contend with the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant.
In the Mediterranean nation, the wholesale cost of power per megawatt hour remains three times higher than a year ago, Energy Minister Konstantinos Skrekas said Friday in a separate televised address. The government will review the situation in February, he said.
The support program will cost 400 million euros ($450 million) for January, bringing the total since September to 1.3 billion euros. The average household subsidy will be 42 euros for the first 300 kilowatt hours of electricity, rising to 54 euros for poorer households and 20 euros a thermal megawatt hour for natural gas. The government will cover 50% of the power price hike for farmers and businesses.
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