High energy cost a problem, Lafazanis tells EU counterparts

Greece’s elevated cost of energy stands as the sector’s main problem, as well as a key concern for the national economy, Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told an informal meeting of EU energy ministers yesterday in the Latvian capital, Riga.

“Despite the difficulties, Greece has made positive steps in the area of energy efficiency, even though plenty still needs to be accomplished,” Lafazanis told his EU counterparts. “But the hight cost of energy continues to be the main problem for our economy, in the energy sector, which, in order to be dealt with, requires that our country pursues a new, progressive, independent, and multi-dimensional energy policy, part of which entails establishing a pluralistic energy hub between East and West,” he continued.

The Greek minister’s comments were offered during discussion on the meeting’s opening topic, “Energy Efficiency – Heating and Cooling”.

Lafazanis noted that the main social issue in the energy sector concerns countering energy-related poverty and energy deprivation, which have sidelined a considerable percentage of populations in EU countries. Drastic price-reduction policies are needed, as are energy policies based on social and income criteria, he noted.

“Improving energy efficiency, our topic today, means absolutely nothing for citizens and households being totally deprived of energy sources, and, possibly, as well as for frail economies that are pressured by stagnancy and recession and trapped in chronic investment inactivity. This cannot be easily overcome by investments in energy efficiency.”

The meeting continues today with a discusson on “Regional Cooperation in the Energy Sector”.