Greek citizens blame EU policies for high energy prices
Greek citizens point to a change in their living costs due to the energy crisis that the European Union is facing.
Greek citizens living on the island of Crete are concerned over high energy prices while blaming the European Union for mismanaging its energy policy, leading to the current situation, Sputnik reported.
Since 2021, energy prices in EU countries have been surging as part of a global trend. After the beginning of the war in Ukraine in February 2022 and the adoption of several EU packages of anti-Russia sanctions, energy prices have accelerated their growth, placing energy security high on both the global and national agendas, and pushing many European governments to resort to various contingency measures.
In late December, the EU adopted a mechanism for correcting the gas market with a floating price limit after member states agreed on a price cap of 180 euros ($191) per megawatt-hour (MWh).
Manolis, a 67-year-old pensioner and air force veteran, noted a significant decrease in his pension that previously could reach 1,300 euros a month but now is no more than 700 euros, almost half of which goes to pay electricity bills.
"Now, it's winter and I am using the electricity more in order to get warm as I am using electric heating panels in my house and I don’t even want to think what the bills will be in the end of the winter, I think I will have to make a special arrangement with the electricity provider to pay them in installments in order to repay them for what I will burn this winter, so I will be already in debt for the next winter for my heating budget and the next winter will be even worse," Manolis told Sputnik.
Similarly, Nikos, a 32-year-old Cretan lawyer, said he is already paying twice as much for heating as he did during the same period last year even though he has not turned on the heating much due to the mild winter.
According to Nikos, the "EU shouldn’t impose any price caps or embargo on Russian energy products, EU shouldn’t use the energy in politics."
'Europe becoming the third world of the West'
When asked about the reasons for the current situation, Nikos pointed to what he described as the EU's "terrible" and "horrible" management of energy security.
"I cannot accept as a European citizen that we are purchasing fossil fuels and especially LNG at this stage at a 5- or 7-times higher price from what it is in the average price in market now, from suppliers that are long-standing allies and partners of the EU," he expressed.
"It goes beyond politics, this is a macro-financial suicide for Europe, and selling LNG in a time of crisis with such a massive markup to the price, it can even be considered a hostile act, especially by an ally," Nikos considered.
On his part, Manolis indicated that "Europe should be realistic and look for suppliers which will be able to provide the energy needed for the winter."
"In general it is unaccepted for the EU with its global influence not to be able to provide energy security to its citizens and to ask its citizens to wear more jumpers in order to cope with the cold weather," he told Sputnik.
According to Manolis, "Europe is becoming the Third World of the Western World recently."
It is noteworthy that in early November, public transport in Athens was severely disrupted, and TV and radio news went off-air after unions called on a general strike to protest the price hikes resulting from ravaging inflation and the war in Ukraine.