The government will announce additional support programs for Greek households, businesses and farmers to combat rising energy prices, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday.
Speaking after the conclusion of a two-day summit of EU leaders, held in Versailles, near the French capital, the prime minister said, “We have to intervene in smart and not horizontal ways.”
Mitsotakis said that his EU colleagues expressed “strong interest” in his proposal for an EU-wide intervention to cap the wholesale price of natural gas.
“The market is now a victim of speculation. After my proposal was announced, the price dropped by 50%, which is the best proof that the market is not working properly. We also asked the Commission to make proposals for distortions in the price of electricity,” the prime minister said.
“Everyone recognizes that the potential of state budgets to deal with increases is finite,” he added.
Mitsotakis also expressed his satisfaction that the conclusions of the summit calls on member states should reduce their dependence on Russia’s oil and gas as soon as possible.
“Greece can play an important role as our country can become energy transmission node. At the same time, we have agreed that we must accelerate as much as possible to reduction of our dependence on hydrocarbons, which means greater penetration of renewable energy sources,” Mitsotakis said.
He said Greece’s intervention at the summit also led to an explicit reference by the EU of a mutual defense assistance clause. “Europe woke up suddenly from its geopolitical lethargy. There were only a few of us in the past who said that the EU should complement NATO’s defense capabilities.”
He also said that a meeting of the countries of the European south would probably take place in Rome before the next Brussels Summit.
Regarding his forthcoming meeting with the Turkish president on Sunday, Mitsotakis described it as “imperative because we face common challenges.”
“Greece and Turkey must talk. Our window is open to dialogue and our door to threats is closed.”
Referring to the measures against Russia, Mitsotakis said: “We did the right thing in Greece. All European countries also supported Ukraine with defense material.”
“Greece is ready to accept refugees from Ukraine and to host them temporarily,” he added. [AMNA]