| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Greek PM Mitsotakis to promise more cost-of-living support

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is scheduled to announce additional funding on Saturday to help households deal with the country’s energy crisis and skyrocketing inflation, according to a government source.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, natural gas prices have skyrocketed, causing a significant energy crisis across Europe. As a result, some governments have pushed through multibillion-euro packages to shield households and utilities from rising costs.

Greece has already spent about 8 billion euros ($8 billion) to subsidise power bills since last year.

Mitsotakis, a conservative who faces a parliamentary election in 2023, will pledge to maintain the support until at least year-end during his annual economic policy speech from the northern city of Thessaloniki, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

At an emergency meeting on Friday, EU energy ministers tasked Brussels with drafting proposals within a few days to cap the revenues of non-gas energy producers and help power firms stay afloat, as they seek to protect citizens from sizzling prices.

Greece, the euro zone’s most indebted country, emerged from its third international bailout in 2018 after a decade-long financial crisis and has relied solely on markets to cover its borrowing needs since then.

Last month, the country exited its creditors’ so-called enhanced surveillance, which means greater freedom in implementing economic policy.

Helped by strong growth thanks to better-than-expected tourism revenue this year, the government has decided to use any additional fiscal room to fund power bill subsidies.

Mitsotakis is also expected to announce a six-pronged plan to help young people rent or buy a house.

  • Reuters