Officers from the Ministry of Finances and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change have been meeting on a regular basis in order to find a sustainable solution to the ever-increasing debts accumulated in the energy market.
At present, DEI is owed about 1.2 billion euros in unpaid bills from its customers, while the state electricity company owes 200 million euros to the independent power transmission operator ADMIE and 140 million euros to the electricity market operator LAGIE.
ADMIE and LAGIE owe 350 million euros to private power companies (Elpedison, GEK-TERNA, Mytilinaios, Motor Oil), who in turn owe about 320 million euros to DEPA for natural gas. LAGIE’s debts towards renewable energy producers are estimated to be about 530 million euros, with the electricity market operator recently announcing that it would begin payments towards energy produced for energy provided in March.
Regarding the 1.2 billion euros owed to DEI, in the last meeting between the Minister of Finances Yannis Stournaras and Deputy Minister of Environment Asimakis Papageorgiou, it was revealed that the majority of debts were generated by public utilities and companies, rather than households. The payment of the state debts towards DEI and the VAT payments towards LAGIE would help the market.
With negotiations with Gazprom still under way and the recent visit from Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, the Ministers are optimistic that the price of natural gas will be decreased. Earlier in the year it was revealed that Gazprom sold natural gas to Greece at a price about 30% more than what other European countries pay.
Independent of the negotiations with Gazprom, the Ministry of the Environment is considering the gradual reduction of the special consumption tax on natural gas, which is presently 5.5% when the average EU percentage is 2%.