The European Summit that starts today will be crucial, because the time has come to take European decisions in order to deal with the most critical issue that causes concern to all European societies. I am referring to the high cost of energy, which causes chain reactions with very high levels of inflation.
I believe that after a lot of preparatory work, we have now reached a point where we have at our disposal a package of proposals by the European Commission that is moving in the right direction. And I truly believe that we will be able to convince the most suspicious participants in the European Council that now is the time to make these bold decisions. To impose a cap on natural gas prices, at the TTF level, so that we can give an answer to those who instrumentalise energy in order to impose unnecessary pain on European societies.
In any case, I would like to reiterate that the Greek government will continue to support Greek society and especially our most vulnerable fellow citizens so that we can overcome this difficult winter together. We have spent over 7 billion only in 2022 – a significant part of which has come from the energy producers themselves – and in this way we have managed to keep electricity bills at acceptable levels. It is also something that all Greek citizens see for themselves when they receive their bills. They see the amount of the subsidy and realize what they would be paying if this significant government intervention did not exist.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: I think that the proposals made by the European Commission move in the right direction. We’re talking about a comprehensive package, part of which is what we call a “price cap” or a “price corridor” that will put a ceiling on the extreme volatility that we have seen on the TTF index. I think that there are ways to overcome what could be legitimate concerns by those member states who are concerned about the security of supply. I think that the proposals by the European Commission have been well thought out. And I would expect that at the end of our Summit, there will be an agreement to task the Commission to move forward with these proposals, which would also include what we call a “cap on the TTF index”.
I think this is what is required today at the level of the European leadership. I think we’ve already lost a lot of time. We’ve paid an unnecessary amount of money to Russia in terms of exorbitant gas prices. And if we want to send a signal to European societies that there is a European solution to what is essentially a European problem, we need to act now.
Question: I do know also how close Greece is to the United Kingdom. Can I get a quick reaction from you, Prime Minister, on the fact that Liz Truss has just announced that she is resigning?
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: I just heard about it, so I have not seen her statements. I don’t want to make any public comment on this. Suffice to say that we’ve always advocated a productive relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom. And I would hope that this political instability, which has plagued the United Kingdom for quite some time now, is finally put to an end. Thank you.