Greece may ignore EU and lower energy costs for business, says minister

Greece may cut energy costs for business even without European Union approval, Development Minister Nikos Dendias said on Thursday.

“We are pursuing an honest dialogue regarding the reduction of energy costs but if we disagree with our partners about the measures, we can - as a sovereign country – legislate,” he said after a cross-ministerial meeting on industrial policy. “Anyone who wants to can then haul us before EU bodies.”

Dendias said the issue of lower energy costs will be raised by the Greek government with European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker when he visits Athens on Monday.

Earlier this week at a meeting of members of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) and the cabinet, industrialists urged the government to lower energy costs. SEV says that Greek firms pay 30 percent more for natural gas than rivals in other European Union countries.