Greece proposes EU Energy Solidarity Fund to deal with crisis

ATHENS, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Greece will propose the establishment of a European Union Energy Solidarity Fund to mitigate the impact of the energy crisis on households, businesses and consumers, its energy minister said on Sunday ahead of EU ministers’ meeting on Monday . Continue reading

“The EU should take decisive collective action to address the energy crisis. Solving the problem on an individual basis is not a sustainable way forward,” Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said in a letter to EU ministers and commissioners.

A prolongation of the crisis in Ukraine will entail significant costs for all EU economies, industries and consumers and will inevitably lead to severe distortions in the internal market, he said.

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The proposed EU Energy Crisis Solidarity Facility (ECSF) would provide temporary support to member states to repair the immediate damage caused by the energy price explosion and limit the impact on national budgets.

Under the plan, EU member states would receive soft loans from the ECSF to fund the cost of government intervention aimed at alleviating the impact of the energy price crisis, he said.

Each EU Member State would receive funding from the ECSF up to a quota, with deficit and government debt credits exempted from government budgetary targets.

The loans would be serviced over a period of 12 to 15 years from future revenues, including energy levies.

“The steady rise in energy prices over the past year … had reached a critical point even before the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now it threatens to spiral completely out of control unless we take decisive action immediately,” he said.

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Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Alison Williams

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