ECONOMY

Power subsidy for the middle class

PM announces 60% rebate for households on extra electricity costs from December to May

Power subsidy for the middle class

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced a suspension of the adjustment clauses and a 60% rebate on extra electricity costs for homeowners and tenants from December to May, among other support measures.

In a televised address on Thursday, Mitsotakis said the refunds would be capped at €600 and would apply to households earning up to €45,000 a year. The refund will be paid directly into the bank accounts of electricity consumers.

At the same time, for May and June, any increase in consumption beyond 300 KWh will be covered by 50%.

The extra profits of power companies made during the energy crisis will be taxed at 90%, the prime minister also said.

Mitsotakis said that a system will be launched in July that decouples international gas increases from the country’s electricity bills. The duration of this scheme will be up to one year.

He explained that “with a double state intervention in both the wholesale and the retail energy market, we are setting an indirect ceiling.”

“And, at the same time, we are stabilizing the prices that reach the consumer. This effectively suspends the adjustment clause. And the overpayments of the energy companies are being cut,” he stressed.

The new package of interventions, he said, will absorb 70% to 80% of the increase in the price per kilowatt hour for households, businesses and farmers, and the horizon will be for the next 12 months.

He also did not hesitate to criticize the European Union for failing to address the problem, stressing that this is why “the government has decided to act with a new national support program,” while acknowledging that the middle class is seeing huge increases in bills.

He said the government wished it had received European funding as well, in order to reduce the burden on the state budget.

“But I will not wait until the slow-moving European ocean liner changes course,” he said, while noting at the same time that there is only so much national governments can do.

“I will be honest, however: As long as the war lasts, no national support will be able to absorb all the increases and keep energy prices where they were before the crisis. Anyone who claims that he can do it is lying to you,” he added, in a swipe at criticism emanating from the opposition.