ECONOMY

Gov’t to propose reduction of special levy on natural gas

The government intends to negotiate a gradual decrease in the Special Consumption Tax on natural gas with its creditors, aiming at reaching an agreement by the end of the year, Deputy Minister for Energy Asimakis Papageorgiou stated on Wednesday in Thessaloniki.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) event, Papageorgiou said that the ministry is already cooperating with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras for the submission of a proposal for the gradual reduction of the tax, as “we have reached the European Union maximum” on natural gas, he said. He stressed that “we are not talking about a reduction that will immediately bring us on a par with other EU countries, but about a gradual reduction.”

The special consumption tax on natural gas in Greece stands at 5.5 percent, against an EU average of 2 percent. “Our aim is to get closer to the mean European level,” explained Papageorgiou, adding that the reduction will not just concern industrial use. The tax reduction has been a permanent demand by industrialists as it amounts to 10 percent of the fuel’s cost.