ECONOMY

Athens submits set-up of EU energy crisis fund

Athens submits set-up of EU energy crisis fund

Greece on Monday proposed setting up a European Union fund to provide low-interest loans to help governments finance measures to tackle high energy prices, as EU energy ministers discussed preparations for potential energy supply shocks and measures to shore up gas stocks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Soaring gas prices in recent months have resulted in higher bills for households and industries, prompting governments in most of the EU’s 27 countries to offer subsidies and tax breaks.

“We must not underestimate the consequences of the Russian invasion on energy prices and energy security,” Greece’s Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said.

The European Commission has said Europe could cope with a short-term disruption to Russian gas flows.

Analysts say a complete or prolonged halt would have severe economic repercussions, requiring emergency measures such as factory closures.

Russia supplies around 40% of Europe’s gas. EU rules require all member-countries to have a plan to respond to gas supply shocks.