Consumers in Greece are paying more for electricity than citizens in fellow EU states because of the lack of competition in the energy market, the European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, noted today.
Canete offered the remark as a response to a question posed by a Greek Euro MP – Maria Spyraki, hailing from the main opposition conservative New Democracy party – on the Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis’s refusal to comply with EU law demanding competition in the energy market.
Opening up energy markets to competition stands as an EU priority, the commissioner said, noting that Greece is not cooperating and is among the EU member states that have yet to adapt to free market systems in the energy sector.
Canete reminded that the European Commission had determined, from as far back as 2008, that the main power utility PPC’s exclusive access to Greece’s lignite deposits, the country’s lowest-cost energy source, is obstructing competition, which is why a suit against Greece was filed at the European Court.
In another question asked by the same Greek MP on RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, and its independence, currently under threat, if the energy minister’s remarks are to go by, Canete noted that the independence of such bodies is vitally important.