The Greek government, domestic power providers and fuel vendors are continuing to focus on possible repercussions from the ongoing surge in global energy prices, especially natural gas.

Heating oil prices, for instance, debuted this week in the east Mediterranean country at some 45 percent higher (roughly 1.13 euros per liter) than their debut last year.

At the same time, the next-day wholesale electricity price exceeded 210 euros per megawatt, continuing last week’s rally of more than 200 euros on a daily basis.

In terms of natural gas prices in Greece, wholesale industrial consumers are bracing for increases in monthly bills ranging from 20 to 40 percent.

The first measure to blunt higher prices is the use of revenues from emission rights auctions, something approved by the Commission.

Temporary measures announced last week include an 18-euro per month subsidy for certain categories of households, expansion of the heating oil subsidy to include more households and a 15-percent discount offered by the natgas provider in the country, DEPA, for heating use.

More permanent measures are being examined for professionals and businesses.

On a more strategic view, and in opposition to the current government’s high-profile pledge to completely eliminate lignite use over the next few years, the Public Power Corp. (PPC), Greece’s state-run and dominant power utility, has opened previously sealed lignite pits and resumed mining there.

The goal is to accumulate enough lignite deposits to ensure the smooth operation of still open lignite-fired power stations, and, if necessary, restart units previously closed as part of the de-lignitization policy.

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