Greeting from the president of SYRIZA at the presentation of the book by Professor Nikolaos Faradouris
The interventions that were not made by the government to deal with the energy crisis and the general responsibilities for the wave of accuracy, but also new solutions, was mentioned by the president of SYRIZA-PS, Alexis Tsipras, during the greeting he addressed today at the presentation of his book professor Nikolas Faradouris, “The energy crisis in Greece”.
“With a reason that is not scientific, but simple, documented, he tries to explain what has been happening for about a year and a half and concerns every household and every business,” Al said at the beginning of his speech. Tsipras, while defending the “dominant narrative of the government”, that is, “the energy crisis is exogenous and is due exclusively to the war in Ukraine” and that “there was no possibility, neither to predict it, nor to reduce it, nor even more to tame it […] “One reading of the book is enough to establish, documented, that both the energy crisis, as well as the inflationary crisis as a whole, began long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he stressed.
“The prices of energy and other goods began to rise significantly already in the Spring of 2021” reminded Mr. Tsipras and “our country had firsts in electricity prices in wholesale as early as August 21, i.e. seven months before the start of the war”. Therefore, he noted that there are “exogenous as well as endogenous factors that feed the tsunami of precision in our country”, stating specifically: “Among the exogenous factors, the main and structural cause of the increase in energy costs has to do with the imbalance between supply and recovering demand after the end of the lockdowns. And mainly due to the lagging of investments in green energy, which is called to replace coal, in relation to the necessary and ambitious goals that the global community has adopted.”
“This structural cause, apparently exacerbated by war and gambling, proves that the issue of climate change and transition is so serious for the future as well as the present of the planet that it cannot be left in the invisible hand of the markets, but it requires strong public intervention and transnational coordination,” underlined Al Tsipras. He also accused the government of not “taking action” and “assuring the citizens of the absolutely temporary nature of the price increases”.
Regarding the EU’s “enormous”, as he said, responsibilities, he criticized its “absolute surprise” and “the role of accomplice in geopolitical developments” as well as “the lack of an alternative energy strategy”. “However, the responsibilities of the EU should not be an alibi for the choices of each member state separately”, he clarified, calling on the Greek government “not to try to hide behind them”.
“The crisis, therefore, brought to the fore the inherent weaknesses of the EU in terms of drawing up an autonomous energy policy, the diverse number of energy policies and needs of the member states, as well as the structural pathologies responsible for the energy impasse. Its dependence on minerals fuel from third countries and especially from Russia, its precarious energy supply, the conflict of interests within the EU, the untimely decision-making at the institutional level”, he noted, stressing that “an equally important threat is the risk of permanent de-industrialisation of Europe”, with resulting in “job losses and recession” which “could lead to a new cycle of social tensions and political uncertainty, with the simultaneous rise of far-right forces in countries critical to the EU”.
Regarding the responsibilities of the Greek government, he commented: “For more than a year, it has not made any – absolutely no – regulatory intervention in the operation of the market. Only subsidies. Even today it is determined to do so seriously. Although it has only gone through the denial of of reality in the denial of its own responsibility”. He also proceeded to present data showing that, on the one hand, Greece is “the most expensive country for electricity, before taxes and subsidies” and on the other hand, that the subsidies, which come primarily “from the tax extortion of households and businesses” are not enough to mitigate the consequences of accuracy. “The choice of Mr. Mitsotakis was and is, not to intervene in the energy market, not to intervene in the cartels and to leave the profiteering undisturbed”, he underlined.
Continuing Al. Tsipras, stressed that “all the critical decisions from day 1 were in the wrong direction”, referring in detail to “violent de-lignification”, which, as he said, was “in practice violent gasification”, “violent tying of our energy mix to natural gas”. On the other hand, the privatization of PPC, DEDDIE, DEPA Infrastructure, resulted in “the complete withdrawal of the state from the possibility of intervening to ensure low and stable energy prices”. The policy of supporting RES and energy communities was abandoned at the responsibility of the government and “RES, which are the most environmentally friendly form of energy production, which are also widely available and therefore can benefit from them the whole of society in a direct way , based on the self-production-self-consumption model, three years ago they were not supported”. Finally, “the control mechanisms were put into complete inactivity”, while “even the independent authorities they themselves appointed became enemies, denouncing interference in their work”.
“The government, captive to its ideological obsessions as well as powerful interests in the field of energy, disabled from the first day of its mandate the state’s ability to intervene in the energy sector and ignored what every country should have as its first goal: energy security and autonomy, leaving the country to the risk of imported natural gas. So regardless of Europe’s inadequacy, the Greek government’s responsibilities for record inflation are great,” noted Al. Tsipras and referred to the book by Nikolas Faradouris which “illuminates” many aspects of this issue. Sides that “seem technical and difficult to understand, but are easily understandable”: “From the failed negotiation of DEPA with Gazprom that resulted in a 30% more expensive supply of Russian natural gas compared to neighboring Bulgaria, to the practically non-existent bilateral activation and of long-term energy contracts that reduce the risk of short-term contracts”. “From the operation of energy markets and exchanges and distortions and manufacturing errors at the European level, to the description of the shallow Greek market and the domestic ‘cap’ on prices”.
“Nicolas Faradouris contributes to the understanding of the aspects of the energy crisis and to highlighting the way to overcome it in a fair way”, underlined the president of SYRIZA-PS, noting that, among other things, this way includes “the recovery of the initiative from the public sphere”, “the emphasis on the goal of energy autonomy”, “the stability of prices and the decentralization of energy production for the benefit of all, offered by RES”, “the direction of fiscal interventions at the source of the problem with the aim of reducing prices so that the accuracy problem does not spread everywhere” and “taking the appropriate initiatives at the European level with common European natural gas supplies and taking part of the supply costs from European resources, by issuing for example a common European bond”.
“That is the role of science. Not to be in the service of propaganda, but in the service of truth, in the service of the common good. As everyone understands it. And as objectively science determines it,” Al concluded. Tsipras, wishing “that this book be an occasion to reflect and wake up”.
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