95 petrol prices topped the €2 per liter threshold on Thursday, and desperate Greeks, including those in the middle class, held their breath before opening envelopes with their electricity or natural gas bills.
Despite some de-escalation of prices in the wholesale electricity market, prices remain prohibitively high for the average consumer.
A significant de-escalation is recorded in electricity prices on the pre-day market of the energy exchange, which are set on Wednesday at 331.3 euros per megawatt-hour against 426.9 euros on Tuesday (a decrease of 22%), Greek media reported, after the launch brown coal power plants.
However, prices remain high as a result of a corresponding increase in gas prices, which today approached 300 euros per MWh on the Dutch stock exchange (up from 340 euros yesterday) and around 210 euros on Tuesday afternoon.
Prices for energy and lignite power plants
Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis told Skai TV that the country’s lignite power plants are running “24/7” and dismissed as “populism” allegations that prices for energy carriers in Greece have reached unprecedented heights due to the shutdown of lignite power plants.
He added that with the exception of one unit at Cardia Aminteo, which was closed in 2018, all other units using lignite are operating at full capacity.
He noted that the Prime Minister’s decision to close lignite power plants is scheduled for no earlier than 2023, and it is quite possible that it will be reconsidered.
Minister Georgiadis spoke of “the biggest energy crisis in history.”
Consumers in despair
Whatever the minister and the government say, the average Greek takes a deep breath before opening electricity and natural gas bills and thinks twice or thrice before driving to the gas station.
In social networks, the story of how one resident of Greece received gas bills for 500 euros and for electricity for more than 1000 euros was pretty sensational.
Another internet user reported that ΔΕΗ cut off the electricity at his parents’ house because they failed to pay their bill, which was almost 1,000 euros, on time.
Other companies billed 4-5 times higher than the corresponding last year for the same consumption.
Fuel can reach 3 euros per liter
In just one month, fuel oil in Greece has risen in price by 0.30 euros per liter, which forces consumers to either not buy fuel oil, or significantly reduce its quantity, and given the next cold snap, freeze or pay exorbitant prices for electricity.
According to site fuelgr.gr:
- 95 octane unleaded gasoline in the prefecture of Attica on February 1 it cost 1,807 euros, and on March 10 it is quite difficult to find cheaper than 2 euros, while in the Cyclades it reached 2.385 euros, in the Dodecanese islands 2.35 euros, Evrytania 2.3 euros and Samos 2.29 euros.
- Diesel fuel in the prefecture of Attica on February 1, it cost 1.5 euros, and on March 10, its price increased to an average of 1.95 euros, while in the Cyclades it reached 2.279 euros, in Rhodes 2.18, and in the Dodecanese islands 1.99 euros.
- 100 octane gasoline in the prefecture of Attica on February 1 it cost 1.89 euros, on March 10 its price jumped to an average of 2.25 euros, while in the Cyclades it reached 2.395 euros, in the Dodecanese islands 2.498 euros, in Rhodes 2.4 euros.
George Asmatoglu, vice president of the Gas Station Owners and Sellers Association, told the news site newsit.grthat over the past three days the price has increased by 20%.
“Now[Tuesday, noon]the price of heating oil in Attica is 1.419 euros. Tomorrow she will go to €1.60. The increase for two or three days is 20 cents. A barrel is now $127 from $93 last month. I don’t know what will happen. The price of a barrel of oil could reach $150, and if that happens, the price of 95 petrol will exceed 2.5 euros.”
Asmatoglu stressed that “the rise in fuel prices has become uncontrollable.”
Even if the government cuts the value-added tax, profits will be minimal to zero, since “the gain per liter will be only 0.10 cents at a price of 2.10,” he said.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Giannis Ikonomou told Mega TV early Tuesday evening that “the government can only help consumers if fiscal data allows it” (in other words, there will be no reduction in the excise tax on fuel).
At this rate, we will have to, according to local tradition, change to donkeys. Fortunately, the price of grass has not yet risen.