Greek govt unveils hefty subsidies to offset skyrocketing power bills

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday afternoon, as widely expected, announced a series of urgent measures to deflect rising energy costs in the country, primarily skyrocketing electricity bills, with the most prominent being a reimbursement of 60 percent of all additional charges imposed through December 2021 to May 2022, and to each owner or renter of a primary residence.

A cap on the total reimbursement will be 600 euros, and while an income criterion is an annual income of 45,000 euros.

Mitsotakis said extra increases levied on consumption of 300 KWh (per month) for May and June 2022 will also be subsidized by 50 percent. The latest measure will also cover properties that are not primary residences, Mitsotakis said, in a latest nationally televised address.

On the supply side, the usually pro-business Greek premier said a special 90-percent tax will be levied on the revenue accumulated by electricity producers during the recent crisis, following the publication by the Regulatory Authority for Energy. Details of this tax are pending.

Additionally, Mitsotakis said that independent of whatever EU decisions to deal with the energy crisis his government will, in July, unveil a system that de-couples the mechanism, by which electricity rates are calculated in the country, from international hikes in natural gas prices.

The new system is expected to last for one year.

One secondary measure is a new appliance recycling program, subsidizing the purchase of new energy efficient air conditioners and refrigerators in place of older technology units.

Along those lines, a program allowing businesses to also receive incentives for the placement of photovoltaic units on their premises, similar to a program running for apartments and one-storey homes.