ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will extend subsidies to power bills at a cost of more than 700 million euros in July to shore up households and businesses following many months of rising energy prices, its energy minister said on Tuesday.
Greece, like many other EU countries, is wrestling with a sharp rise in power bills driven by sky-rocketing gas prices, as the Ukraine war and European sanctions on Russia deepen worries over security of gas supplies.
On top of soaring energy costs, Russia has cut off supplies to some EU countries, triggering a further rise in natural gas prices.
"The financial and social burden has become unbearable," Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said in televised statements. "In such a difficult backdrop, the government extends support for energy consumers in July."
The country has spent about 7 billion euros in power subsidies and other measures since September to help households, small and medium-sized businesses and farmers pay their electricity and gas bills.
The new subsidies will come at 200 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) for households to absorb 84% of the rise in their power bills, Skrekas said. The aid will be reach 192 euros per MWh for shops and 213 euros per MWh for farmers, while industries will get 148 euros per MWh, he added.
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Angeliki Koutantou, William Maclean)