One can blame the Minister of Development Kostas Skrekas for many things, but not that he avoids assigning responsibility… to others. In fact, he sometimes “doesn’t put his tongue in his head” before he speaks, as a result of which he misses big things, such as that the Competition Commission has “not imposed a single fine”, when in 2022 alone it imposed fines of 32 million euros.
His confrontation with the Independent Authority was followed by the solemn announcement of the two “mammoth fines” on multinational companies, together with the decisive declarations that “we will not allow the Greek market to become a wild vine”.
Taking the baton from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who, copying Christine Lagarde, has already taken his weapon against the “inflation of greed”, even if he mainly fires verbal fire, the Minister of Development declared his adamance against profiteering. “It doesn’t go any further, the accuracy is great, the households are under pressure,” he said on television, doing what he accuses the others of: easy conclusions and even in retrospect.
As if the N.D. doesn’t rule. over the past five years, as if inflation didn’t start climbing three years ago and hasn’t stopped since, even if the rate of appreciation fluctuates. Mr. Skrekas himself from the position of the Minister of Environment and Energy reassured us in the fall of 2021 that “an average household will see almost no increase in electricity” and if it does, it will be at most 1-2 euros (probably he forgot to add a couple of zeros).
As the minister called upon to manage perhaps the most serious energy crisis of the last fifty years, he did not avoid backbiting. While at the beginning he refused to recognize the problem in its true dimensions, eventually the tsunami of energy price hikes came to cost the State more than 10 billion euros.
In practice, the money that came out of the state budget, and therefore from the citizens who finance it through taxation, was used to subsidize the profits of energy producers and suppliers, which they continued to make.
It took a year of sharp increases in tariffs to “freeze” the predatory readjustment clause in the summer of 2022, under the weight of the outcry over the obvious deception with the “small print” of the bills, after collective lawsuits by consumers.
Even after the measures for energy tariffs and mechanisms for recovering even some of the companies’ surpluses were legislated in November 2022, another year passed for the signing of the MOU concerning the revenues of the retail providers, which was a few days ago, on October 31, 2023.
It was May 2021 when Mr. Skrekas, in his capacity as Minister of Environment and Energy, announced in an interview to the editor of “Ef.Syn.” Ari Hatzigeorgiou that “in the next period we will announce a network of actions that will create an energy safety net for vulnerable households, subsidizing through the municipalities the construction of photovoltaics where the energy that will be produced will be channeled at low to zero prices to vulnerable households”. This period lasted… another two and a half years, since the relevant program is expected to start this year.
Returning to the familiar haunts of the Ministry of Development in June 2023, in which he had served in the 2014-15 period during the Samaras government, the 50-year-old politician, who has been continuously elected since 2012 as an MP for Trikala with the ND, first in crosses since 2015, it has now thrown its weight behind combating precision in consumer goods.
Having a long tenure as an executive in food and beverage companies (he was co-founder and CEO of the company that imports and distributes the energy drink Red Bull), he is well versed in supplier pricing mechanisms.
That is why even when he gnashes his teeth at the multinationals, announcing “the biggest fines ever”, along with the whip of controls for the ceiling on the profit margin, he holds the carrot of advertising, through the “discount signs”, of initiative for a permanent price reduction.
The gain for the consumer remains in doubt, while inflation is on the rise again, as reflected in Eurostat’s estimates for October, which show the Consumer Price Index in Greece rising, while in Europe it is falling.
Although he is the son of the member of the N.D. Theodorou Skrekas, did not rest on his father’s laurels and engaged in business before jumping into politics. However, when Theodoros Skrekas was appointed president of LARCO by the Karamanlis government, he made sure to appoint his son’s wife as deputy director and his cousin, the bride’s father, retired from the Gendarmerie, as director of Security.
In response to a question from the journalist of “Ef.Syn.” regarding his family involvement in LARCO, Kostas Skrekas replied that “it is something that happened 5 years before I got involved in politics” and that “now we are moving forward”.
Why we chose him
Taking over the Ministry of Development, with reduced responsibilities since the European programs have been removed from his portfolio, Kostas Skrekas also received the hot potato of the fight against precision. Despite his statements that “in this battle we must all be together”, he does not hesitate to throw the ball to others, attacking the Independent Authority of the Competition Commission for “not checking for accuracy”, which is exactly what the his ministry.