The Greek government will set an upper limit on wholesale electricity prices to help consumers and companies cope with rising energy costs, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said late last week.
He said in a televised address that Greece will not wait for a European solution whose adoption takes too long.
Like many other countries, Greece has been in trouble since last year due to rising prices of gas, electricity, fuel and food, and the situation has worsened after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The quadruple government support program will reimburse up to 60% of all additional costs paid by consumers between December and May, Mitsotakis said.
This refund will be limited to 600 euros and will cover all consumers with annual incomes of up to 45,000 euros for electricity consumed in their primary homes.
Electricity producers will be asked to pay a “solidarity dividend”, which means that their unexpected income will be taxed at 90%.
The government will introduce a new system that separates the international increase in the price of natural gas from the electricity bill, said Micotakis, talking about the measures as an indirect restriction in order to stabilize the consumer bill.
The scheme will be applied for a maximum of one year.
The Conservative government has come under increasing pressure from the opposition to alleviate the difficulties of consumers, especially the most vulnerable.
Given that gas has a large share in the country’s electricity production, Athens has subsidized electricity and gas bills, and has also offered one-off assistance to vulnerable groups totaling 4 billion euros since September.
Electricity costs do not show signs of reduction, and consumers blame the surcharge applied by electricity suppliers to increase their bills – it is activated when the average monthly wholesale price of electricity exceeds a certain limit.
The Greek consumer union has filed a class action lawsuit against suppliers, demanding the abolition of surcharges and reimbursement of additional costs to its customers.