ECONOMY

Gov’t considers measures to contain energy blow on industry

European ministers fail to agree to a common response to the problem of increased costs

gov-t-considers-measures-to-contain-energy-blow-on-industry

The considerable increase in energy costs constitutes a threat to exports and the competitiveness of Greek industries, with the growth in operating costs inevitably leading to hikes in final prices. Therefore industrial companies are calling for the government to intervene, though the European Union energy ministers failed on Tuesday to agree to an immediate response to the problem by the entire bloc.

Kathimerini understands that the government is duly considering targeted measures to soften the blow on industries, while it is certain the support to households will be extended into the first quarter of next year.

The Hellenic Association of Chemical Industries (HACI) warned in a statement on Tuesday that competitors from other countries get the energy they need through bilateral contracts at fixed prices, while in Greece there is no hedging against the sudden rise in rates, resulting in energy producers immediately passing the increases on to their industrial clients.

HACI also notes that the combination of expensive energy with the difficulty in obtaining raw materials, price hikes in the latter, higher shipping costs and delays in the supply chain are leading to an unprecedented jump in production costs, which the companies are unable to absorb by themselves.

Therefore industries are calling for the state to immediately deal with the problem with a reduction in consumption tax and with the use of the funding tools in the new European Union subsidy period (2021-27).

Meanwhile the extraordinary council of EU energy ministers in Luxembourg came to no conclusion, postponing any decisions to December instead, Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec, whose country holds the EU presidency, said after the meeting.

For her part, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said there is no short-term instrument that would work for all member-states, whose energy mix and taxation policies differ considerably. 

She added that the only long-term solutions are improving energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy sources for electricity production. She noted that RES exceeded mineral fuel in EU power production last year for the first time.