ATHENS, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Greece will double power and gas bill subsidies and increase handouts to help households tackle soaring energy prices, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Friday.
In total, the relief will reach 500 million euros ($577.90 million), Staikouras told a news conference, up from subsidies of about 150 million euros announced in September.
“We are dealing…with an acute crisis, bigger in intensity and size compared to initial projections,” Staikouras said.
European electricity and gas prices have rocketed this year as tight gas supplies have collided with strong demand in economies recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas, who also addressed Friday’s news conference, said the subsidies would be mainly funded by revenues from the sale of carbon emission allowances, which have also soared in value to record prices on the EU Emissions Trading System.
The measures will include an 18 euros subsidy for the first 300 kilowatt hours consumed by Greek households per month, up from a nine euros subsidy announced in September.
“Since the start of the year, gas prices in Europe have increased six-fold,” Skrekas said. “The possibility of a harsh winter intensifies concerns for a further worsening of the energy crisis.”
Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Barbara Lewis
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