The possibility of extending the fuel pass is being considered by the government, as stated by the Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, in an interview today, on the radio station “REAL FM”, while regarding the checks carried out on fuel prices, he said that he expects the data from the refineries to be processed by the authority, and in addition extraordinary inspections have started at the 30 gas stations with the highest prices and at fuel transport companies.

Specifically, the minister commenting on the current situation on fuel prices noted: “The situation with fuel is very difficult. This is the reality. As the Ministry of Development and Investment, we have started the largest research we can at refineries, where we raided with all the ministry’s services both in Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil and we are waiting for the data to be given by the 23rd of the month so that the service can process them, while we have also started extraordinary inspections at the first 30 gas stations in the country, I mean with the highest prices. The same goes for transport companies. So, at the moment, our service is in control of the entire fuel supply chain.”

“Everything we do we do well and with the utmost rigor to keep prices from rising further. This does not mean that we will not have increased fuel prices. Fuel prices are rising for objective reasons. Because the rise in the price of crude oil, the fall in the value of the euro against the dollar and the shortage of gasoline are happening at the same time because the Russian refineries are not exporting.”

“Traditionally the month with the highest fuel prices every year is May. Why is this happening; Because in May everyone makes very big fuel purchases to fill their tanks in anticipation of summer and so it is in great demand. If you look at the fuel cycle, the worst month is May, which is why you see the very high prices now. It will logically be a bit lower in the summer “.

Regarding the possibility of reducing fuel taxes, he said: “We have placed the largest financial aid measure for electricity in the entire European Union, by a very large margin. There is no country in Europe that pays for electricity what Greece pays.”

“No” to tax cuts

“As far as fuel tax cuts are concerned, some European countries have indeed done so, but not most, four countries have. The others have not done it for the same reasons that we are not doing it.

“What does SYRIZA say? Reduce taxes, reduce VAT and increase benefits. That is, to reduce state revenues and increase spending. It says this in a country that has the largest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world. He says this at a time when lending rates in the decade for both Greece and other countries have risen sharply and he says it at a time when it is being debated whether or not the central bank will raise interest rates, which if it does, will cause new round of countries’ interest rate hikes. So, seriously, is it a good idea for a country with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio to jeopardize its fiscal stability and enter this unprecedented storm in the target market? Do we take them seriously? Or have we not realized in Greece after what we went through, that if the country is targeted by the markets, in the end the one who pays it is the pensioner, the average citizen and the poor? We experienced it 10 years ago. It is not so long ago”.

“I’m not happy to impose fines”

Regarding the collection of fines imposed for price speculation, the minister noted: “The fines are collected by independent revenue authority AADE. Based on its data, most have already been collected. That is, the companies to which we imposed fines, did not go to court, they paid them. And then a storm of fines follows “.

“I am not happy to impose fines, but we have to send a clear message to the market that we will not allow anyone to go and win from this crisis. The message from the Government and from me personally is very clear. And the reason we went to the refineries the day before yesterday, which has never happened before, is because I want to explain to everyone that we are not just going to chase the little guys and leave the big ones alone. None of us, no matter how big we are, is currently exempt from the obligation to not speculate.”

On whether the fuel pass will be extended in June, he noted: “We are on top of things and month by month and we will be watching how things evolve. I believe that in the end it will be yes “.


On the statement of Mr. Alexis Tsipras that “the government will be forced to go to the polls” the minister commented: “Because I have heard Mr. Tsipras before, I would say that he should experience a little less joy for the fact that the planet is heading towards a huge catastrophe. I understand that politically it can be a divine gift to him that suddenly the planet has found itself in such great difficulty and therefore, this obviously places Greece in a difficult situation, but one should not be happy about it. It’s bad. Humanity is suffering at the moment, it is not a profit. So now, in terms of what will happen. The Prime Minister has positioned himself on the issue so many times that I think it is tedious to repeat the same.”


Regarding the purchase of F-35 aircraft, he said: “I hope Greece manages to get an F-35 squadron. If we could do that together with the Rafale and the F-16 Viper we would have one of the most powerful air forces in the world and we could ensure stability and peace for the Greek people for many decades to come. That is, it is a weapon that gives you enormous air superiority and, in addition to everything else, makes us really powerful. With the F-35s, Turkey could never think of doing anything against Greece.

Now, in terms of the economic dimension, this government handles public finances with great responsibility. ‘So let no one worry. “Any order placed for the F-35s will be made within our budget margins and not outside.”

“One of the strongest criticisms leveled by SYRIZA through Ms. Ahtsioglou, Mr. Skourletis and Mr. Tsipras himself shortly before on REAL FM, is that the Prime Minister’s trip would have been successful if they had made an explicit commitment from the Americans that Turkey will not get the F-16s. So, the official opposition argument is that if Turkey gets the F-16s, that is very important for our relationship and balance in the Aegean, and it’s right because it is. At the same time that this party says that it is extremely important that Turkey does not get the F-16s, and at the same time the same party says that it is not important for Greece to get the F-35s. You can not say both at the same time and this shows the hypocrisy of SYRIZA “.

Hellenic Aerospace Industry

Finally, when asked about Lockheed Martin’s expression of interest in HAI, he said: “For about a year and a half now, I have been in charge of finding a solution for HAI’s future. What I can tell you right now, because these conversations are secret, is that we have indeed been having extensive discussions with Lockheed Martin for several months now.

Lockheed Martin is currently HAI’s best customer. Almost all of the programs, except for those of the Hellenic Air Force, are owned by Lockheed Martin and Lockheed Martin is today the largest company of its kind in the world by a huge margin.cSo, if we could get a company of this level to join HAI, that would obviously be a huge success.”

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