The Greek Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Stelios Petsas, spoke on the MEGA Weekend show about the price increases that affect the consumer behavior in Greece

“The financial support measures will continue”

“From the very first moment of this energy crisis that led to price increases, the government was there to support the Greek citizens. We have given 2.1 billion euros, since September, to support households and businesses with subsidies for electricity, gas and we have made various types of interventions to support the weak. At the same time, we continue our policy of reducing taxes or raising the minimum wage. Extra measures may be also added. Support measures will continue for the next periodof time and some of them will be applied before April. We hope we do not have geopolitical disturbances that will cause even more problems in energy prices”, noted Mr. Petsas regarding the proce hikes and the moves of the government to support households and businesses.

“It is difficult to reduce the excise duty this year”

On whether a reduction in excise duty is expected, Mr. Petsas said that “I do not rule this out, for the future, but during this year, which is characterized by uncertainty and a really difficult budget, it is really difficult to reduce the excise duties. I believe that 2022 will be the year of uncertainties, but, if the issues of the pandemic and energy will be tackled by summer, I think that the government will be able to continue even more aggressively the policy it has announced, i.e. the reduction of taxes”.

Speaking about the taxation on heating oil, Mr. Petsas said that “Heating oil is a difficult issue in Greece. Let me remind you that, in 2011, the memorandum provided for a fivefold increase in the excise duty in order to achieve the then fiscal targets. That measure wasn’t effective. The government of Mr. Samaras reduced the excise duty and introduced the heating oil allowance. The Tsipras government increased the excised duty, but at least we were able to maintain an expanded heating oil allowance. In any case, we should keep in mind that consumption is moving. In the future we may see a rationalization of these excise duties. This year, with everything that has happened, and with 2.1 billion we have provided to support households and businesses, it is difficult to reduce the excise duties”.

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