An EU-wide response is required to protect consumers from energy price hikes, Prime Minister Kyriaksos Mitsotakis said on Thursday.
“A European response is needed to protect consumers, businesses and farmers from fluctuations in gas prices and consequently electricity, which are not dictated by the rules of supply and demand but are the result solely of speculation in the natural gas market,” Mitsotakis said in Versailles, where he is attending a summit of EU leaders.
European intervention was needed to place a cap on wholesale prices in the gas market, he said.
Europe also needs to address its strategic autonomy, he continued. “Greece has been at the forefront of this debate. We believe in the need for Europe to align its geopolitical power with its economic potential. Developments in Ukraine in the last 14 days were essentially the violent “coming of age” of our continent. I think a consensus is emerging so we can move much faster, much more substantially, much more efficiently, in this field.”
Regarding defense spending, he argued that “part or possibly all defense spending should be excluded from deficit calculations, so that countries like Greece, which historically spend more on defense spending than other European countries, are not punished for this strategic choice.”
Expressing his “disgust” at the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Mitsotakis reiterated his call “for a ceasefire as soon as possible, but also for humanitarian corridors so that those who want to leave the war zones can do so safely.” [AMNA]