Emergency measures expiring, Athens seeks extension

The energy ministry has forwarded an official request to the European Commission seeking an extension, until the end of the year, of emergency electricity market measures that were introduced last summer to combat energy price rises and are set to expire on July 1. Brussels has yet to respond to Athens’ request.

Over the past nine months, the extraordinary measures have proven effective in subduing electricity prices for households and businesses at levels well below those created by the energy crisis.

The energy ministry imposed a wholesale price cap on electricity, interrupted indexation clauses concerning retail tariffs, and has been subsidizing electricity. Also, in an effort to stimulate competition, the ministry set a rule requiring power suppliers to announce their nominal tariffs – not including subsidies – for each forthcoming month ten days in advance, and has given electricity users the freedom to switch suppliers without any penalty costs.

The Greek request forwarded to the European Commission wants this entire package of measures extended until the end of 2023, as protection against any new wave of energy price rises.

Though energy prices have deescalated over recent months, analysts have not ruled out a rebound and reemergence of energy sufficiency issues in Europe next winter.

Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and Europe’s inconclusive plan regarding alternative energy sources are the main factors nurturing these concerns.