ECONOMY

Differing gas prices under spotlight

The Development Ministry is opening up a new front in its efforts to contain prices, this time focusing on the natural gas market. Just one day after allegations by Minister Costis Hatzidakis about profiteering in the petroleum products market, the ministry clearly implied that there are similar distortions in the natural gas sector. The ministry’s general secretary, Constantinos Mou-souroulis, sent a letter to the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) yesterday referring to «price differences between heating oil and natural gas for consumers in the areas of Thessaloniki and Thessaly.» He asks the energy watchdog for its opinion on the reasons for this phenomenon and highlights possible violations of the terms of the licenses issued to gas companies in 2000. He also asks the RAE to recommend measures to prevent a recurrence of such problems in the future. Earlier in the day Mou-souroulis had met with representatives of the gas companies in Thessaloniki and Thessaly as well as of the Public Gas Corporation. It emerged from the meeting that prices in those areas are about 35-44 percent higher than in Attica.