ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will impose supplementary tax bills on energy firms, its energy minister said on Thursday, after a regulator identified windfall profits stemming from elevated energy prices.
European gas prices have soared since Russia, Europe's top supplier, invaded Ukraine in February, raising fears of supply disruptions.
With Greek households under pressure from inflation at a near 30-year high, the government had tasked the country's energy regulator RAE with identifying windfall profits based on firms' gross profit margins stemming from the higher gas prices.
The government plans to tax the profits at 90% and use those proceeds to offset consumers' higher energy bills. That amounts to 375 million euros for the period between October 2021 and June this year, based on the regulator's estimate of the profit, the energy minister said.
"From the beginning of this great test for Europe, the government and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged ... that he would not allow any kind of profiteering," Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said.
"Our primary concern is to maintain affordable prices on consumer bills until the end of this major, pan-European energy crisis."
So far, Greece has allotted more than 9 billion euros to power subsidies and other measures since last September to help people and businesses pay utility bills.
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)